Twin terror assaults on New Zealand mosques

ANKARA/MELBOURNE

The death toll from twin mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, climbed to 49, according to the New Zeland Herald.

Earlier New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put the number at 40.

Ardern said her country is treating the shootings as a “terrorist incident”.

“There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence, which it is clear this act was,” Ardern said. “It is clear this is one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters that one suspect of the deadly twin shootings is an Australian citizen.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said that three men and a woman were arrested following the shooting.

Residents were advised to stay indoors and notify authorities if they see anything suspicious.

Gunmen attacked the mosques and fired multiple times during Friday prayers, according to the Stuff news outlet.

Witnesses claim the Al Noor Mosque was targeted by armed assailants and there were up to 200 people inside for Friday Prayers.

Witnesses Len Peneha told reporters a man dressed in black entered the mosque and fired before running away before security forces arrived.

Peneha said he saw “dead people everywhere” when he entered the Al Noor mosque to help those who were wounded.

One of the gunmen broadcast the shooting at Al Noor Mosque in a chilling 17-minute video on Facebook.


* Vakkas Dogantekin in Ankara contributed to this story

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