Mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand

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What we know so far


Credit: Associated Press/ Mark Baker

Forty-nine people were killed and 20 gravely injured during two attacks at mosques in Christchurch during Friday afternoon prayers, making this the worst mass shooting in the history of New Zealand.

Police commissioner Mike Bush has urged mosques all over the country to shut their doors as police continue to uncover numerous explosive devices stuck to cars. And in a statement Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern stated “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.


Credit: Associated Press/ Mark Baker

Four individuals – 1 woman and 3 men – had been into police custody, of which 1 person was released and another charged with murder. The Prime Minister has rebuked the ideology of the group responsible for the massacre, stating: “You may have chosen us but we utterly reject and condemn you”.


Credit: Associated Press/ Mark Baker

In response to this tragedy, the country’s threat level has moved from a low to a high. Furthermore, it has also come to light that neither suspects were on the terrorist watch-list.

The Prime minister of Australia, Scoot Morrison has also condemned the massacre, blaming the rightwing extremism on the attack. He has also confirmed one of the suspected individuals to be an Australian.

The Current Situation

In response to the shots being fired, a lockdown of the city was initiated by the police, as well as the evacuation of the protest for climate change that was taking place nearby. Thankfully, children unfortunate enough to be separated from their families were taken care of by the council staff.


Credit: Associated Press/ Mark Baker

The New Zealand Police has reported that the attacks occurred at the Linwood Islamic Center located on Linwood Avenue and Al Noor Mosque located on Dean’s Road. They have also confirmed the death toll to be at 49, with 41 of the deaths being at the Deans Avenue most and 7 at the Linwood Avenue. The number of people being treated at the hospital has been updated to 48.


Credit: maps4news.com

A man, 28 years of age, has been charged with murder and is scheduled to appear at the Christchurch District Court, the following morning.

Two of the other suspects remain in custody and while another person was arrested earlier in the day, they were however not related to the current events.

The World’s Reaction

London – The Mayor Sadiq Khan extended his sympathies for the victims and also confirmed an increase in police security near the mosques across the capital.

Harun Khan, The Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain called this the deadliest Islamophobic attack in recent times and urged Muslims to not give into temptation of anger. He has also called upon the government increase their efforts to make sure mosques are protected.

Australia – I.H. Kauser, The President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the country has called upon the communities across the world to come together against such hatred and bigotry.

United States – The Muslim Advocates from America have shared their sympathies and have asked the Muslims across the country to remain strong and vigilant.

 

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