Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

PM Imran condemns terrorist attack at mosque in New Zealand

PM Imran condemns terrorist attack at mosque in New Zealand

An Australian gunman involved in attacks on New Zealand mosques Friday that left at least 49 people dead published a racist manifesto on Twitter beforehand then livestreamed his rampage, according to an AFP online analysis.

The first reports about mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch started emerging at around 3:00 p.m. local time on Friday (02:00 GMT).

Members of a family react outside the mosque following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 15, 2019.

People have been recommended by the police to stay inside.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also shared a video on Twitter, recording a message that ended: "When the flames of hatred are fanned, when people are demonised due to their faith, when we play on people's fears rather than addressing them, the consequences are deadly, as we have seen so sadly today".

Media later reported that not one but two mosques had been attacked.

The match planned for Saturday was announced canceled after the shooting took place.

It is not believed that the increased patrols are in response to any specific threat to mosques, communities or individuals in Lancashire. One witness, Mohan Ibn Ibrahim, who was inside one of the mosques during the attack, told CNN that the attacker continuously shot at people inside the mosque for "10 or 15 minutes".

A police presence has been placed at mosques around the country and ramped up throughout Christchurch.

He also told CNN, "It's a big mosque and there were more than 200 people inside".

"At this stage, we will not be discussing the offenders' possible motivations or the causes of this incident".

All mosques in New Zealand had been asked to shut their doors and armed guards posted at them, police said, adding they were not actively looking for any other "identified suspects". Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said some of the victims may have been new immigrants and refugees.

An area of Christchurch near where the shootings happened is named Peterborough, after Peterborough in Cambridgeshire. "Given the small size of New Zealand, and give that it grounds itself on peace and justice, the impact of it is just heightened".

"The British High Commission in Wellington is in contact with the New Zealand authorities and urgently seeking further information".

Police later confirmed that two mosques in central Christchurch had been attacked and multiple deaths were feared. I know that the people of New Zealand will never allow hate and division to triumph over these things they hold dear.

Spanish Premier Pedro Sanchez said his thoughts were with the victims, families and government of New Zealand after attacks by "fanatics and extremists who want to destroy our societies".

In a message of condolence sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Francis "assures all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity in the wake of these attacks".

Indonesian President Joko Widoyo, head of the world's largest Muslim country, said "we strongly condemn these kind of violent acts".

"Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter's Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video", Facebook said in a tweet.

The gun Brenton Tarrant used to carry out the attack.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that one of the killers was Australian.

The Consulate General is working with local police to further check if there is any Chinese citizen caught in the attack, the Consul General said. "But we can not assume there are no others at large", Commissioner Mike Bush told reporters.

"There were a number of IEDs attached to the vehicles that we also stopped".

"They are safe. But they are mentally shocked. Two are still under investigation", Bush said at a briefing aired by the New Zealand Herald.

At the same time, the Canterbury District Health Board said that at least 48 people, including little children, were being treated at the Christchurch Hospital.

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