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Christchurch mosque shootings – nine dead, many more injured

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Here is the latest we know about the Friday afternoon attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand on two mosques. The number of dead is expected to escalate during the afternoon.

  • Two mosques have been attacked by at least one gunman. The shooting began around 1.40pm local time with multiple fatalities.
  • Police say they now have a man in custody but speculate there is another gunmen on the run.
  • Witnesses said one gunman was a caucasian male, aged between 30-40 and wearing a uniform.
  • Police have not released an official death toll yet. They are telling mosques across the nation to shut their doors until told the situation is resolved and declared over.
  • The south island city of Christchurch was on lock down with no people being allowed in or out of government buildings or schools. The lockdown on schools is now believed to be lifted.
  • NZ PM Jacinda Ardern describes the shootings as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

The strict lockdown on Christchurch’s school has been lifted after NZ police announced on their social media.

“We would like to reassure members of the public that there is a large police presence in the city and the safety of the community is our priority.”

It follows the announcement that four people have been arrested over the attack on two mosques, three men and one woman. Government buildings remain on lock-down.

The shootings occurred today around lunchtime, the busiest day and time for many mosques around the world when Muslims convene for their Friday prayers.

Police said they received reports of shots fired at 1.40pm local NZ time. Muslims across New Zealand are being advised by authorities to avoid attending mosques today.

A TVNZ journalist Anna Burns-Francis says at least one of the shooters is believed to be an Australian citizen. This is unconfirmed by police.

Emergency services from across New Zealand have been sent to the south island city to assist in the evolving situation.

TVNZ has now confirmed nine deaths already although there could be many more in the two attacks. Police have not given any official numbers as yet but said it is “significant.”

 

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