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Australian gunman opens fireplace in Christchurch mosque terror assault

A person in his late 20s has been charged with homicide after an Australian terrorist opened fireplace at two mosques within the New Zealand metropolis of Christchurch, killing at the least 49 and injuring 48 others.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has now confirmed that 49 individuals had been killed.

He mentioned that 41 individuals died after the primary assault on the Masjid Al Noor mosque and 7 others died after the second mosque assault on Linwood Ave.

He mentioned {that a} man has been charged with homicide and can seem in a Christchurch court docket tomorrow.

“Three other people were apprehended. We believe one of those persons who was armed and was at the scene may have had nothing to do with this incident,” he mentioned.

“The two other people that have been apprehended, again in possession of firearms in the general environment, we are working through to understand what their involvement is.”

Bush additionally mentioned that no authorities company had any details about these in custody, and he had been involved with Australian police.

“What I want to tell you is that no agency had any information about these people, and I can also tell you that I’ve been in contact with my Australian colleagues – they have no information on them at all either,” he mentioned.

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Digicam IconPolice Commissioner Mike Bush speaks to media throughout a press convention.Image: Getty Pictures, Getty

He wouldn’t verify whether or not or not the identical man was liable for each mosque shootings, saying it was inappropriate to take action now an individual had been charged.

Police took three males and a lady into custody after the gunman shot at worshippers together with his semi-automatic weapon as they gathered for Friday prayers.

The gunman has been confirmed to be Brenton Tarrant, 28, who wrote a 73-page manifesto declaring his evil intentions.

NSW counter-terrorism police are investigating the Grafton man’s background after he was identifed because the shooter.

A resident in Grafton informed The Courier-Mail Tarrant beforehand lived subsequent door together with his mother and father.

“His father passed away many years ago with cancer,” she mentioned.

“Brenton has not been there for 10 years.

“He was a contented regular boy like each different child on the street.”

Property information present the home continues to be owned by his household.

The lady mentioned the household had moved from the home years in the past.

Tarrant live-streamed the second he opened fireplace on the Masjid Al Noor mosque, killing 30.

He killed an additional 10 individuals on the Linwood Avenue mosque.

“We are dealing with a very serious and tragic series of events in the Christchurch-Canterbury area,” police chief Mike Bush mentioned.

“They involve an active shooter. They involve multiple fatalities.”

“The multiple fatalities are, as far as we know, at two locations. A mosque at Deans Ave and another mosque at Linwood Ave, Christchurch.”

Bush mentioned there have been “a number of IEDs [improvised explosive device] attached to cars that police stopped.”

The bombs have been disarmed.

“We are not aware of other people, but we cannot assume there are not others at large,” he mentioned.

“We’re not assuming this is contained to Christchurch,” he mentioned.

An AOS (Armed Offenders Squad) member is seen following a shooting at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch.
Digicam IconAn AOS (Armed Offenders Squad) member is seen following a taking pictures on the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch.Image: AAP

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern mentioned there was little doubt that the shootings “were an act of terror”.

“We were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism, because we are an enclave for extremism … we were chosen for the fact that we are none of these things… You may have chosen us, but we are utterly reject and condemn you,” she mentioned.

The Prime Minister refused to be drawn on the citizenship of the opposite individuals arrested.

New Zealand safety analyst Paul Buchanan informed Radio New Zealand’s Checkpoint program he was not shocked 4 individuals had been in custody, however the alleged fundamental perpetrator of the shootings had beforehand mentioned he was working with 10 individuals.

“There was clear tactical planning involved,” Buchanan mentioned.

Police are treating the incident as ongoing and Christchurch residents are being strongly urged to remain indoors and maintain secure.

In an announcement they mentioned they’re working with plenty of businesses and are receiving help from the NZ Defence Drive.

“We have asked all mosques nationally to shut their doors, and advise that people refrain from visiting these premises until further notice,” the assertion learn.

HOW THE ATTACK UNFOLDED

Witnesses mentioned the gunman first went into the mosque about 1.40pm on Friday native time (11.40am AEDT).

The Bangladesh cricket workforce had been reportedly among the many 200 worshippers current however they managed to flee.

However babies are mentioned to be among the many useless, and our bodies have been reported laying on the bottom exterior. Christchurch Hospital was additionally put into lock down.

A police officer photographs witnesses near a mosque in central Christchurch.
Digicam IconA police officer pictures witnesses close to a mosque in central Christchurch.Image: AP
The Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Ave in Christchurch.
Digicam IconThe Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Ave in Christchurch.Image: Provided, Google Maps
Police console a man outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand.
Digicam IconPolice console a person exterior a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand.Image: AP

The physique of a lady on a footpath was additionally seen exterior the mosque. Witnesses additionally reported seeing the physique of a kid close by.

Witnesses mentioned the gunman was contained in the mosque for six minutes earlier than returning to his automobile to retrieve extra ammunition. He then opened fireplace once more.

“I saw people drop dead in front of me. I was crawling to get away,” a witness named Nour informed the New Zealand Herald.

“It was hitting the walls,” he mentioned.

Nour crawled throughout the ground of the mosque to a window that had been damaged by others as they fled and jumped trough it.

He jumped over a neighbouring wall. He ran across the block and he might nonetheless hear taking pictures.

Mohan Ibrahim described to the Herald operating for his life to flee the gunman. He was considered one of 200 individuals in Christchurch’s Masjid Al Noor mosque when he heard photographs being fired.

An armed police officer is seen following a shooting at the Masjid Al Noor mosque.
Digicam IconAn armed police officer is seen following a taking pictures on the Masjid Al Noor mosque.Image: AAP
Bloodied bandages are seen on the road following a shooting at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch.
Digicam IconBloodied bandages are seen on the street following a taking pictures on the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch.Image: AAP

The shooter was stopped by New Zealand Police on Strickland Avenue in Christchurch.

A bomb was situated inside his beige Subaru that was rammed by a police automobile, about 3km from the Al Noor Mosque the place the primary taking pictures came about,” the Guardian reported.

A police officer informed a information reporter “you’re not safe here, there’s a bomb in that car.”

Christchurch police arresting the suspect.
Digicam IconChristchurch police arresting the suspect.Image: Provided, Twitter
Guns on the passenger side of his vehicle in New Zealand.
Digicam IconWeapons on the passenger facet of his automobile in New Zealand.Image: AP

New Zealanders are reeling after the assault despatched shockwaves all through the nation.

“We have now been affected by the virus of terrorism,” Mr Buchanan, a former intelligence and defence coverage analyst and guide to US authorities safety businesses informed 1 NEWSNZ.

“There are a whole bunch of white supremacists groups. We’re talking maybe a dozen groups of this sort mainly concentrated in the South Island.”

“It’s very possible this individual is still on the loose. There could well be some support network that’s actively trying to hide him.”

The gunman’s manifesto incorporates “white supremacist” propaganda. Mr Buchanan informed 1NEWSNZ he had seen the manifesto, and the taking pictures is “clearly the case of a white supremacist.”

Within the 73-page doc, he mentioned he had deliberate the assault for 2 years and had a location lined up three months earlier than the assault at present.

He goes on to explain himself as an “eco-fascist”.

“I was a communist, then an anarchist and finally a libertarian before becoming an eco-fascist,” he wrote.

He claims to have had temporary contact with Anders Breivik, who was a far-right terrorist who killed 69 members of a youth league summer season camp on the Norwegian island of Utoya in 2011. He killed an additional eight via a automobile bomb in Oslo.

He was a member of anti-immigration, far-right teams and claimed to be a member of a brand new order of Christian Knight Templars.

A police officer attempts to move people away from across the road from a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand.
Digicam IconA police officer makes an attempt to maneuver individuals away from throughout the street from a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand.Image: AP

The gunman additionally wrote of how he supported US President Donald Trump “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose,” however not as a policymaker.

He goes on to reference Candace Owens: “The person who has influenced me above all is Candace Owens”. Owens is an outspoken US pro-Trump activist identified for her criticism of Black Lives Matter and of the Democratic Social gathering.

In a chilling publish on a social media discussion board posted final evening, the ring chief — believed to be an Australian — said: “I will carry out and attack against the invaders and even live stream the attack via Facebook.”

His show profile picture on the extremist discussion board featured a cartoon man carrying a wide-brimmed Dundee-style hat, clutching a VB beer captioned, “hold still while I glass you.”

In his publish earlier than the assault, the person posted: “If I don’t survive the attack, goodbye, godbless, and see you all in Valhalla!”

In Norse mythology, Valhalla is a “majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard, ruled over by the god Odin”.

An injured person is loaded in an ambulance following a shooting at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch.
Digicam IconAn injured individual is loaded in an ambulance following a taking pictures on the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch.Image: AAP

SHOCKING LIVE STREAM

The gunman live-streamed the second he opened fireplace contained in the mosque, with these having seen the footage saying they noticed at the least 20 individuals fall.

“I’m lost for words at the extreme violence I’ve just seen,” one commentator mentioned.

“People are just piled into corners and he just sprays them all. Praying for them.”

“There’s massive casualties at the mosque shooting … I’ve just watched the video. He shoots well over 20 people, it’s absolutely awful.”

The footage reveals a person driving as much as a mosque taking part in loud music, earlier than coming into and taking pictures down a number of individuals within the prayer room.

He then calmly walks again to his automobile and drives off, explaining his actions.

Nevertheless, different witnesses claimed to have seen “multiple gunmen”.

Ambulance staff take a man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand.
Digicam IconAmbulance employees take a person from exterior a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand.Image: AP
Armed police patrol outside a mosque in central Christchurch.
Digicam IconArmed police patrol exterior a mosque in central Christchurch.Image: AP

LEADERS REACT TO TERROR ATTACK

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern mentioned this was considered one of NZ’s “darkest days”.

“Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. They are us,” Ms Ardern mentioned.

Jacinda Ardern fronts reporters over the shootings.
Digicam IconJacinda Ardern fronts reporters over the shootings.Image: ABC

“The one that has perpetuated this violence towards us isn’t. They don’t have any place in New Zealand. There isn’t any place in New Zealand for such acts of maximum and unprecedented violence, which it’s clear this act was.

“For now, my ideas, and I’m certain the ideas of all New Zealanders, are with those that have been affected, and in addition with their households. My ideas additionally to these in Christchurch, who’re nonetheless coping with an unfolding scenario.”

A man talks on his mobile phone across the road from a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand.
Digicam IconA person talks on his cell phone throughout the street from a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand.Image: AP

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison mentioned he was horrified by the reviews.

“The situation is still unfolding but our thoughts and prayers are with our Kiwi cousins,” he mentioned.

Labor Chief Invoice Shorten wrote on Twitter: “Australia and New Zealand are family and we grieve with our brothers and sisters today. We send our love and condolences, our sorrow and solidarity in this terrible time of fear and pain and grief.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk mentioned Australians had “no greater friends in the world than New Zealanders”.

“We are thinking of them all at this time as this awful situation unfolds.”

State Opposition Chief Deb Frecklington mentioned the scenes popping out of Christchurch had been “simply horrible”.

“These abhorrent and appalling attacks are to be condemned in the strongest possible way,” she mentioned.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of New Zealand at this tragic hour.”

People stand across the road from a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand.
Digicam IconIndividuals stand throughout the street from a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand.Image: AP

CHRISTCHURCH IN LOCKDOWN

A large police response was put into motion and armed police had been deployed on Deans Ave close to Hagley Park. Armed police additionally responded to the incident in Linwood.

Colleges and close by companies had been placed on lockdown, though this was later lifted.

The taking pictures comes on the identical day as Christchurch college college students had been due to participate in a local weather change rally. The occasion was deliberate for 1pm at Cathedral Sq., a little bit over 2.5km from the positioning of the taking pictures.

The Bangladesh cricket workforce was on the mosque for Friday prayer when the taking pictures began, with the workforce captain Tweeting that they’d survived.

The workforce is in Christchurch to play New Zealand within the third cricket check beginning tomorrow. It has now been cancelled.

Coach Mario Villavarayen mentioned: “The gamers are shaken up however nice. I spoke to considered one of them shortly after [the incident]. They didn’t see something however heard gunshots. They had been on the floor [Hagley Oval] and simply began operating.

“The teaching employees had been all on the lodge. The gamers simply began operating once they heard the photographs. I don’t know what number of [shots] there have been. This occurred at about 1.45pm.”

Participant Tamim Iqbal tweeted that it was a “frightening experience” and that there have been “active shooters”.

Ambulance staff take a man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand.
Digicam IconAmbulance employees take a person from exterior a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand.Image: AP

Nearly all of Muslims residing in New Zealand are Sunnis however there are additionally a lot of Shias who stay there. They’re primarily concentrated to Auckland however they’re a minority in comparison with the nation’s 4.7 million inhabitants.

The most recent census knowledge states there have been 46,149 Muslims residing within the nation as at 2013. This was 28 per cent increased than in 2006 when there have been 36,072 individuals figuring out as Muslim.

EYEWITNESSES TELL OF MOSQUE SHOOTING HORROR

A man in the mosque at the time, who would not give his name to Stuff.co, said there were “bodies all over me”. He mentioned the gunman got here in with an computerized gun and emptied at the least two magazines.

Ahmad Al-Mahmoud, 37, described the shooter as white-skinned, blond, fairly brief and carrying a helmet and a bulletproof vest. He and others broke a window in a door to flee from the mosque. Prayers began at 1.30pm and the gunman got here in about 10 minutes later, when everybody was on their knees praying, he mentioned.

The gunman let off dozens, if not tons of of rounds, he mentioned.

One other witness mentioned the person was carrying a helmet.

“He had a big gun and a lot of bullets and he came through and started shooting like everyone in the mosque, like everywhere, and they have to smash the door and the glass from the window and from the small door to try and get out.”

One eyewitness told 1 NEWS: “My husband was driving previous …he mentioned he took three individuals to the hospital, one was a little bit woman all had been shot.

“He needed to take extra he mentioned there was like a dozen individuals simply mendacity on the street.”

Police and ambulance staff help a wounded man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch.
Digicam IconPolice and ambulance employees assist a wounded man from exterior a mosque in central Christchurch.Image: AP

HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

Mass shootings are comparatively extraordinary in New Zealand.

In September 2014 Russell John Tully donned a balaclava and carried a shotgun as he stormed into the Ashburton WINZ workplace, not removed from Christchurch, and killed two girls, tried to kill one other and maim yet one more.

In 2001, William Dwane Bell killed three throughout a murderous spree at Panmure RSA in Auckland.

And in 1997 Stephen Lawrence Anderson went on a killing spree within the small North Island city of Raurimu. Six individuals had been killed and lots of others had been wounded as they tried to flee the cannabis-using schizophrenic.

NZ Customs figures revealed earlier this month confirmed greater than 52,00zero weapons had been imported into the nation final 12 months. The alarming statistics, which prompted requires the institution of a nationwide firearms register, didn’t embrace the $2 million value of handguns or different military-style weapons introduced into the nation over the identical interval.

“They just keep pouring through the border and the problem is, as they pour through, we don’t know where the majority of them end up,” NZ Police Affiliation president Chris Cahill mentioned, in accordance with Newstalk ZB.

“I know the majority of them end up in the hands of criminals because our members are finding them,” he mentioned.

“But that’s the big question, why do we need so many? And if we are going to bring them in shouldn’t we know where they end up? And without a registry, we don’t know that.”




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