(Image source from: Indiatoday.in)
New Zealand Police have confirmed that 49 people have been killed and more than 20 seriously injured in mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch when at least one gunman opened fire on worshippers.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush says that the death toll in mosque massacre has risen to 49. "A man has been charged with murder and will appear in court tomorrow. One of those arrested may have had nothing to do with the attack, the two other people arrested in possession of firearms are still being investigated," he said.
Earlier In a Press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.“I have now had the opportunity to be fully briefed with the details of the unprecedented events that took place in Christchurch this afternoon.”
“It is with extreme sadness that I tell you that as at 7pm tonight, we believe that 40 people have lost their lives in this act of extreme violence,” she said
“It is clear that this can only be described as a terrorist attack.From what we know, it does appear to have been well planned. Two explosive devices attached to suspects’ vehicles have been found and they have been disarmed.”
She said 4 suspects arrested but three are connected to this attack and are currently in custody, one of which has publicly stated that they were Australian born.
”These are people who I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world.”
"In fact I'm sure right now New Zealand would like me to share a message on their behalf too.
"Our thoughts and our prayers are with those who have been impacted today. Christchurch was the home of these victims. For many, New Zealand was not the place they were born, in fact for many New Zealand was their choice. It was the place they committed themselves to, where they were raising their families, where they were part of communities that they loved and who loved them. It was a place that many came to for its safety, a place where they were free to practice their culture and their religion.
"For those of you who are watching at home tonight and questioning how this could have happened here, we, New Zealand, we are not a target because we are a safe harbour for those who hate, we were not chosen for this violence because we condone racism, because we are an enclave for extremism, we were chosen for the fact we represent none of these things. Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion, a home for those who share our values, refuge for those who need it.
"And those values, I can assure you, will not and cannot be shaken by this attack. We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities, 160 languages and amongst that diversity we share common values and the one that we place the currency on right now and tonight is our compassion and the support for the community of those directly affected by this tragedy.
She said, "Secondly, the strongest possible condemnation of the ideology for those who did this, you may have chosen us, but ... we utterly reject and condemn you."
By Sai Kumar