49 dead in New Zealand mosque shooting, PM Jacinda Ardern calls it ‘darkest day’
Christchurch: At least 49 people were killed and several seriously injured in shootings at two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch on Friday. Among the deceased, at least 10 people were killed at the Linwood Islamic Centre while 30 others at the Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch.
Confirming the death toll in the horrendous attack, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said, “49 people have been killed in shooting at two mosques in Christchurch.”
The Bangladesh cricket team was present at the Hagley Park mosque when the incident took place. Cricketer Tamim Iqbal Khan took to Twitter and said, “Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned the shooting and declared it as the darkest day. “This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days. It was an unprecedented act of violence,” she said.
Police have taken four suspects in custody. “Four people in custody; one woman, three men. We are still looking at the circumstances around it. Let’s not presume that the danger is gone,” Mike Bush, New Zealand Police, said.
The police have also warned people to avoid the area and all schools and a hospital were put in lockdown.
Eyewitnesses have reported running for their lives to escape the shooter. Unverified footage purportedly taken by the shooter has emerged, suggesting he filmed as he shot victims.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh cricket tour of New Zealand has been called off.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said, “Our thoughts and sincere condolences go out to families and friends of those affected by this horrendous incident in Christchurch. Both teams, staff and match officials are safe and ICC fully supports the decision to cancel the Test match.”