Christchurch Massacre: It is a terrorist attack says PM Ardern

Christchurch Massacre: It is a terrorist attack says PM Ardern

RNZ, Wellington, March 15, 2019

One of the Mosque which was the scene of the shooting in Christchurch (Photo: Google Street View)

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed that 40 people have died after the “terrorist” attack at two Mosques in Christchurch today.

“It is a terrorist attack,” she said, in her media brief a few minutes ago.

Key points:

  • There have been two attacks – at the Masjid Al Noor Mosque next to Hagley Park, and at the Linwood Masjid Mosque in the suburb of Linwood.
  • Forty people have died, the PM has confirmed. Ten died at the Linwood Mosque and 30 at the Dean Ave Mosque.
  • Canterbury DHB says 48 patients with gunshot wounds are being treated at Christchurch Hospital.
  • PM Jacinda Ardern has described it as a “terrorist attack.”
  • The national security threat level has been increased from low to high.
  • Four people are in custody, but police warn there could be more offenders. The PM said those in custody were not on any security watch lists.
  • Police Commissioner Mike Bush said there were a number of explosive devices attached to vehicles that were stopped by police and these have been made safe by Defence Force personnel.
  • An eyewitness described seeing a man wearing a helmet and glasses and a military style jacket opening fire inside one of the Mosques with an automatic weapon.
  • All Christchurch schools, Christchurch Hospital and Christchurch City Council buildings were placed into lockdown. The schools have now been cleared to lift the lockdown.
  • Multiple roads in the city, including Blenheim Rd, Moorhouse Ave and Brougham St, were closed.
  • Police have told Mosques nationwide to shut their doors until further notice
  • The third cricket Test between Bangladesh and NZ – due to start in Christchurch tomorrow – has been cancelled.

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