Death Toll Rises To 49 In Christchurch Mosque Terror Attacks

Map of mosque shootings in Christchurch New Zealand. An attack on a second mosque in the city not long after killed several more.

48 people were taken to Christchurch hospital, and 20 of them were in a critical condition.

National Policing lead for Counter Terrorism, Neil Basu said: "We are monitoring events in New Zealand closely and send our condolences to all those affected". He said victims were a "large group of invaders" who he says "seek to occupy my peoples lands and ethnically replace my own people (sic)".

In a 74-page manifesto "The Great Replacement", believed to have been written by Tarrant, he says his motives include to "create an atmosphere of fear" and to "incite violence" against Muslims.

Ordinary people expressed their horror online about a widely disseminated video of a man apparently indiscriminately shooting people inside a mosque with an assault rifle.

"At this stage, we will not be discussing the offenders' possible motivations or the causes of this incident. They have no place in New Zealand". For many New Zealand was their choice, a place they actively came to and committed themselves was a place where many came to for their safety. "I am unable to sleep well", said Muhammad, board member at the Muslim Community Center on Indy's south side.

An injured person is loaded into an ambulance following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 15, 2019.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the incident a terrorist attack in a Friday press conference, saying the suspects held "extremist views" that have no place in New Zealand or the world.

In the video live-streamed by Tarrant, a man inside a mosque appears to say "Welcome brother" as a gunman approaches.

Police urged both the media and public to "show restraint" and not share it. He wrote: "We will not allow this sort of evil to destroy our friendship, and I know that all of us in the diocese will continue to stand with you and to work together with you for a community of peace and of mutual respect".

Police describe it as an "active shooter" situation.

Shortly after reports, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that a man detained as one of the suspects in the deadly mass shootings was indeed an Australian citizen.

"We have four people in custody". All Christchurch schools have been shut.

"There were a number of IEDs attached to the vehicles that we also stopped. It's very grave, it's very serious", he told reporters.

One man was arrested and charged with murder in what appeared to be a carefully planned racist attack.

According to New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush, the two mosques targeted by terrorists were the Al Noor mosque, located in central Christchurch and a mosque in the suburb of Linwood was evacuated, but there were fewer details from that site.

"We will not let the blood of Muslims go in vain", said one protester. "Two are still under investigation", Bush said at a briefing aired by the New Zealand Herald.

Police patrols are being stepped up around mosques in Peterborough following the terrorist attack in New Zealand.

"It is clear that the understanding represented by the killer that also targets our country, our people and myself, has started to take over Western societies like a cancer", Erdogan said. Some people have minor wounds while others are in a critical condition.

New Zealand media reported "dozens" of dead.

  • Tracy Klein