KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 — A total of 49 people died in mass shootings today at two mosques in Christchurch in one of the worst attacks in New Zealand in recent history.
NZ Herald reported New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush as saying that four people were arrested, including an Australian citizen living in New Zealand, and a man in his late 20s has been charged with murder.
Most of the fatalities came from the shooting at Al Noor Mosque in Deans Ave where 41 people were murdered, while seven died at the Linwood mosque. A 49th person reportedly died in hospital.
“We have staff around the country making sure everyone is safe, including armed offenders at all mosques. Police staff have gone above and beyond to protect people today,” Bush was quoted saying.
Authorities reportedly defused several IEDs attached to vehicles in Christchurch.
One of the gunmen livestreamed shooting at Al Noor Mosque from a GoPro camera attached to his head, with the video showing a first-person player’s perspective in shooter games.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the attack “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.
According to CNN, the biggest massacre in New Zealand before Friday’s mass shootings occurred three decades ago when a man called David Gray killed 13 people in a shooting rampage.
New Zealand reportedly has a low murder rate at 35 homicides in 2017, less than those killed in today’s attack.