49 people have been killed, and at least 20 others seriously injured, in mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand.
Police have arrested four people in connection with the terror attack and have also defused explosive devices in what appeared to be a carefully planned incident.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Friday was ‘one of New Zealand’s darkest days’ as she confirmed the number of dead and injured.
Ms Ardern said the events in Christchurch represented ‘an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence’ and acknowledged many of those affected may be migrants and refugees.
What has happened in Christchurch is an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence. It has no place in New Zealand. Many of those affected will be members of our migrant communities – New Zealand is their home – they are us.
— Jacinda Ardern (@jacindaardern) March 15, 2019
Police arrested three men and a woman after the shootings, but have given no further details.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the alleged gunman, who had Australian citizenship, as an “extremist, right-wing” terrorist.
A man in his late twenties was charged with murder and will appear in court on Saturday morning, police confirmed.
He identified himself on twitter as Australian citizen Brenton Tarrant right before the attacks.
The attack was filmed and streamed live on the web.
Appearing on the rifle used there were some scribbles one of which read ‘Malta 1565’. Without any doubt this was a direct reference to the Great Siege of Malta between the Knights of St John, Maltese people and devout Muslim soldiers of the Ottoman Empire.
A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he explained who he was and his reasoning for his actions.