An injured person is loaded onto an ambulance following a shootout at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, 15 March 2019 REUTERS / SNPA / Martin Hunter
15 March 2019
by Praveen Menon and Charlotte Greenfield
WELLINGTON (Reuters) – At least one gunman killed 49 people and injured more than 20 during Friday prayers in two New Zealand mosques in the worst mass shooting in the country, condemned by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as terrorism.
An armed man broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on a mosque in the city of Christchurch, reflecting the carnage taking place in video games, after publishing a "manifesto" in which he denounced immigrants as "invaders" .
New Zealand has been placed at the highest level of security threat, Ardern said, adding that four people in custody have xtremiste opinions, but were not on any police checklist.
"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack," said Ardern, calling it "one of the darkest days in New Zealand".
later three people were arrested and a man of about twenty years was charged with murder. Saturday 1
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said 49 people had been killed in total.
The video widely circulated on social media, apparently taken by an armed man and published live online while the attack took place, showed that he was driving to a mosque, entering and shooting at random people. indoor.  The worshipers, probably dead or wounded, lay curled up on the floor, the video showed. Reuters was unable to confirm the authenticity of the movie.
A man who said he was at the Al Noor mosque told the press that the gunslinger was white, blond and wearing a helmet and a bulletproof vest. The man broke into the mosque while the faithful knelt to pray.
"He had a big gun … he came and started shooting at everyone in the mosque, everywhere," said the man, Ahmad Al-Mahmoud. He said he and others fled by breaking through a glass door.
Forty-one people were killed in the Al Noor mosque, seven in a mosque in the Linwood district and one died in the hospital, police said. The hospitals said the children were among the victims
Shortly before the attack began, an anonymous post on the 8chan discussion site, known for a wide range of content including hate speech, ha said the writer was going to "carry out an attack against the invaders" and included links to a live stream on Facebook, where the footage appeared, and a poster.
The manifesto quoted "white genocide", a term typically used by racist groups to refer to immigration and the growth of minority populations, as its motivation.
The Facebook link directed users to the page of a user called brenton.tarrant.9.
A Twitter account with the handle @brentontarrant published Wednesday's images of a rifle and other military tools decorated with names and messages related to white nationalism. What appeared to be the same weapon appeared in the live streaming of the mosque's attack on Friday.
It was not immediately clear whether the attacks on the two mosques had been carried out by the same man.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that one of the men in custody was Australian.
All mosques in New Zealand had been asked to close their doors and armed guards sent to them, police said, adding that they were not actively looking for any other "identified suspect".
The political and Islamic leaders throughout Asia and the Middle East condemned the killings.
"I blame these increasingly frequent terrorist attacks on the current Islamophobia after September 11," the Pakistani prime minister, Imran Khan, published on social media. "1.3 billion Muslims have been collectively accused of any act of terror".
Al-Azhar University, the Egyptian home of Sunni Islamic learning, said the attacks "violated the sanctity of the houses of God".
"We warn that the attack is a dangerous indicator of the terrible consequences of the escalation of hate speech, xenophobia and the spread of Islamophobia."
Six Indonesians had been in one of the mosques, with three who managed to escape and three disappeared, his foreign minister said.
The Ambassador of Afghanistan said on Twitter that three Afghans were injured. Two Malaysians were injured, their foreign ministry said.
Muslims account for slightly more than 1% of New Zealand's population, a 2013 census showed.
& # 39; FIRING WENT ON AND ON & # 39;
The online movie, which appeared to have been captured on a camera attached to a gunman's head, showed him driving while the music was playing in his vehicle. After parking, he took two guns and walked a short distance from the mosque where he opened fire.
Over the course of five minutes, he repeatedly shot the faithful, leaving more than a dozen bodies in a room alone. He returned to the car at that time to change guns, and returned to the mosque to shoot anyone showing signs of life.
A man, with blood still on his shirt, said in a television interview that he was hiding from a hit man under a bench and prayed he would run out of bullets.
"I was just praying to God and hoping that our God, please let this guy stop" Mahmood Nazeer told TVNZ.
"The fire went on and on. A person with us had a bullet in his arm. When the fire stopped, I looked over the fence, he was a guy, changing his gun."  The video shows the armed man who then shoots at high speed and shoots from his car. Another video, taken by someone else, showed the police to arrest a gunman on a sidewalk by a road.
Police said improvised explosive devices had been found. The video of the gunslinger had shown red petrol cans in the back of his car, along with weapons.
The Bangladesh cricket team is in Christchurch to play New Zealand in a third cricket test that begins on Saturday.
"They were on the bus, which had just arrived at the mosque when filming started," Mario Villavarayen, a team coach, told Reuters in a message. "They are shaken but good."
The third cricket test was canceled, the New Zealander Cricket said later
Violent crime is rare in New Zealand and the police do not usually carry weapons.
Before Friday, New Zealand's worst mass shooting occurred in 1990 when a solitary man with a gun killed 13 men, women and children in a 24-hour rage in the small seaside village of Aramoana. He was killed by the police
(Additional reporting by Tom Westbrook, John Mair and Swati Pandey in Sydney; Writing by Michael Perry; Editing by Robert Birsel and Nick Macfie)