Many dead in New Zealand shooting at two mosques during Friday prayers

Flowers left at cordon
Flowers left at cordon
Author

17 March, 2019

Naeem Rashid, originally from Abbottabad in Pakistan, and his son, were named as being among the 49 victims killed in the terror attack yesterday.

Mr Mazharuddin said the gunman was wearing body armour and shooting indiscriminately.

Tarrant has been described as a suspected white supremacist, based on his social media activity.

Witness Len Peneha said he saw a man dressed in black enter the mosque and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror.

Worshippers, possibly dead or wounded, lay on the floor, the video showed. Reuters was unable to confirm the footage's authenticity and police urged people not to view or share it.

Canadian Muslims have expressed their sadness and shock at the shooting deaths of 49 worshippers at two mosques in New Zealand.

Bush said police had found two improvised explosive devices in one auto, a clarification from an earlier statement that there were devices in multiple vehicles. Regardless of whether terrorist attacks are perpetrated by white or Islamist extremists, their narratives must not be enabled through whataboutery.

Alsaleh said police arrived about 20 minutes after the shooting began. There are an estimated 1.5 million firearms in New Zealand, which has a population of only five million, but the country has had low levels of gun violence.

"We appear to primarily be dealing with one primary perpetrator, but we want to make sure that we don't take anything for granted in ensuring New Zealanders' safety", Prime Minister Ardern said.

"It's something that I think has shattered the sense of security of Muslims, certainly in New Zealand, and in Australia and nearby, as well around the world".

Ardern said the shooter was "in possession of a gun licence" obtained in November 2017, and he started legally purchasing the weapons the following month.

Ardern said the Australian suspect was not on any watch lists and did not have a criminal record.

Police officers search the area near the Masjid Al Noor mosque site of one of the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch New Zealand Saturday
New Zealand Attack: What We Know

Police stand guard at Christchurch Hospital.

Funerals were planned on Saturday for some of the victims, several of whom were born overseas.

Since then, Christchurch's 400,000 residents have feared the elements more than people; an quake in 2011 killed 185 and toppled many downtown buildings in what has been lovingly dubbed the "Garden City".

Grieving members of the public following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 15, 2019. "I convey the message of love and support on behalf of New Zealand to all of you", she said.

For many, the road to recovery will require multiple surgical procedures and many survivors said the mental scars may never fully heal. "It is beyond belief that something like this should happen in our city and in New Zealand".

"It's a fine line between telling the children this is the reality of it", he said, "and not exposing them to the true nature of humanity that can lead to this sort of thing".

Political and Islamic leaders across Asia and the Middle East voiced concern over the targeting of Muslims.

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden called the shootings a terrorist act, tweeting that such acts have no place in the country. But I tell you, the events of the last 24 hours - it was over 20 years ago but it all comes back.

"He had a big gun. There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque", he said. "We are doing everything we can to remove it", he said.

Ardern said children were caught up in the attack and one of the injured was a two-year-old boy.

Ardern said 30 people were killed at the Al Noor mosque, the city's main mosque, and another 10 at a mosque in the suburb of Linwood. Hospital officials said some of the wounded were in a critical condition.

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