New Zealand mosque attack: Death toll at 49, darkest day, says Arden

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 15 Mar 2019 Print

New Zealand mosque attack: Death toll at 49, darkest day, says Arden

Christchurch: At least 49 people have died in New Zealand's worst terror attack in which gunmen stormed two city mosques on Friday and opened fire, police commissioner Mark Bush said.

Briefing the media in Wellington, police chief Bush said: "At the Deans Avenue mosque, we now know that 41 people have lost their lives. And at Linwood Avenue, seven have lost their lives."

More than 40 have been injured and one of them has succumbed to injuries. Consequently, the death toll in this attack stands at 49.

New Zealand is treating the attack as a "terrorist event"

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said incident was one of New Zealand's darkest days.

"It is clear that this is one of New Zealand's darkest days. What has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence," Ardern told reporters. "For now my thoughts and I'm sure the thoughts of all New Zealanders are with those who have been affected and also with the families."

The police have started a web portal where people can mark themselves alive or report missing people.

Reports said a gunman streamed the attack live for 17 minutes on social media. Four people have been arrested.

"A man in his twenties has been charged with murder," Bush said.

World leaders have condemned the attack.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a telegram, expressed his condolences to the New Zealand Prime Minister.

"Cruelty and cynicism of the attacks on peaceful citizens who gathered for a prayer shock us. I hope that everyone involved in this crime will receive a well-deserved punishment," Putin said.

UK Prime Minister wrote on Twitter: "On behalf of the UK, my deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand after the horrifying terrorist attack in Christchurch. My thoughts are with all of those affected by this sickening act of violence."

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said the incident proved you cannot associate a religion with terrorism.

"Shocked and strongly condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attack on mosques," Khan said.


Image:  Xinhua/UNI