Hawzah News Agency (Christchurch, New Zealand) – Forty people been killed and 20 injured in a terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, which occurred during afternoon prayers.
Three people – one of them an Australian-born man – are in custody.
It was described as “a terrorist attack” by NZ prime minister Jacinda Ardern, and an “extremist, right-wing violent terrorist [attack]” by Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.
Christchurch remains on lockdown.
Ardern said: “Many directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here...They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not.”
The attacker is believed to have livestreamed at least one of the attacks. Police urged people not to share the “distressing” footage, which many Australian news outlets ignored.
Before the shooting starting, the Al Noor mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch was “peaceful, calm and quiet”.
“As it is when the sermon starts, you could hear a pin drop,” a man identified as Ramzan told reporters on Friday.
Then about 1.40pm during afternoon prayers, gunfire broke out.
“It started in the main room ... I was in the side room, so I didn’t see who was shooting but I saw that some people were running out to my room where I was in, I saw some people had blood on their body and some people were limping,” Ramzan told reporters.
“It was at the moment I realised things were really serious.”
Forty people have been confirmed dead after shootings at two mosques Christchurch on Friday. Three suspects – including at least one Australian – are in custody and multiple explosive devices have been found attached to cars in the city.