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New Zealand Terror Attack: Death toll 49, 20 injured

The shooting was the deadliest in New Zealand's history

Friday March 15, 2019 3:31 PM, ummid.com News Network

Christchurch Mosque Attack

[Police escort people away from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand (Photo: Mark Baker/The Associated Press)]

Wellington: Forty-nine people have been killed and at least 20 others injured in shootings at two mosques in New Zealand city of Christchurch in the worst attack in the Pacific country's history.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference that the mosque shootings appear to have been a well-planned "terrorist attack".

"This is, and will be, one of New Zealand's darkest days," an ashen-faced Ardern said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also described one alleged gunman, who had Australian citizenship, as an "extremist, right-wing" terrorist.

The shooting was the deadliest in New Zealand's history.

One gunman live-streamed footage of his rampage to Facebook, filmed with a head-mounted camera. The footage showed him firing indiscriminately at men, women and children from close range inside the Al-Noor mosque.

Police called on the public not to share the "extremely distressing" footage online. Facebook said it had removed the gunman's Facebook and Instagram accounts and was working to remove any copies of the footage.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush earlier in the afternoon said four suspects were in custody - three men and a woman - but added: "Let's not presume the danger is gone."

Talking to local TV channels Muslim worshipers said about 500 people were inside the Al Noor Mosque Christchurch when gunmen entered and opened fire.

Members of the Bangladesh cricket team were also going to the mosque to complete their Friday prayers at Christchurch's Masjid Al Noor. Just when they were about to enter the mosque, a lady warned them that a gun attack was going on inside the mosque. The distraught Bangladesh players got inside a bus and laid down on the floor after the warning.

Witness Len Peneha said he saw a man dressed in black enter the Masjid Al Noor mosque and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror. He said he also saw the gunman flee before emergency services arrived.

Police also confirmed a second shooting occurred at the Linwood mosque during Friday prayers in the South Island city, but no details were immediately available.

It was later confirmed that 30 worshippers were killed at the Al Noor mosque, including women and children. Police also confirmed that 10 people have been killed at the Linwood mosque during Friday prayers.

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