The unprecedented and callous attack has shocked the usually peaceful nation, as well as the onlooking world.
The latest reports indicate that four people have been arrested, with Mike Bush, New Zealand’s police commissioner saying that three men and one woman had been taken into custody in connection with the shootings.
In the wake of the attacks on the Masjid Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Masjid mosque, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that the suspects involved in the terrorist attack held “extremist views” that have no place in New Zealand or the world.
She told reporters:
“It is clear that this is one of New Zealand’s darkest days. Clearly, what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.
“Certainly, it has occurred in a place where people should have been expressing their religious freedom. Where they should have been in a safe environment. And they have not been today.
“There is no place in New Zealand for such extreme acts of unprecedented violence. The people who were the subject of this attack today, New Zealand is their home. They should be safe here. The person who has perpetuated this violent act against them, they have no place in New Zealand society.
“Christchurch Hospital is dedicated to treating those who are arriving at the hospital as we speak as well.
“As soon as I leave here, I will be returning directly on a flight to Wellington. Agencies are already convening in Wellington. I will be looking to meet with them as soon as I land.”
“For now my thoughts and I’m sure the thoughts of all New Zealanders are with those who have been affected their families.”
According to reports, one of the attackers live-streamed the incident on social media, showing him shooting at mosque attendees running for their lives. Authorities say they’re aware of the video being circulated, and are urging people to refrain from sharing it.
Since the news broke earlier today, social media has been flooded with people’s sympathies and condolences for the victims and their families.
Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragic incident
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