Shootings at two mosques in Christchurch Friday have left at least 49 people dead in an attack New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern labeled an “extraordinary act of unprecedented violence."
Around 1.45PM local time, point-of-view video footage of the terror attack was posted live to social media. A 28-year-old Australian male has been arrested and charged with the murder, while two others remain in police custody. Around 20 people are seriously injured.
"Many of the people affected by this act of extreme violence will be from our refugee and migrant communities. New Zealand is their home. They are us,” Ardern stated in a live media cross. "The person or people who carried out this act of unprecedented violence are not. There is no place in our home for them."
"This is one of New Zealand's darkest days... There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence."— CNN (@CNN) March 15, 2019
Prime Minister Jacinda Arden speaks after Christchurch mass shooting - live updates: https://t.co/J0iLbkCFQEpic.twitter.com/vn2tDeEk1o
1/9 Police continue to deal with what is an unprecedented event for New Zealand. The loss of life and the number of those who have been injured is tragic.— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
As the Prime Minister has stated, this has been designated a terrorist attack.
In the wake of the attack, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the attacker was an Australian-born citizen and requested flags be flown at half-mast.
"Australia and New Zealand are not just allies, we’re not just partners, we are family,” he announced in a media statement. “As family members with our New Zealand cousins, today we grieve, we are shocked, we are appalled, we are outraged, and we stand here and condemn absolutely the attack that occurred today by an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist that has taken the lives, stolen the lives, in a vicious, murderous attack, that has claimed so many New Zealanders.”
Australians stand with all New Zealanders today during this dark time where hate and violence has stolen their peace and innocence. Kia kaha (stay strong).— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) March 15, 2019
Countries around the world similarly echoed their deepest condolences.
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May tweeted her thoughts to all victims.
"On behalf of the UK, my deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand after the horrifying terrorist attack in Christchurch,” May stated. “My thoughts are with all of those affected by this sickening act of violence.”
On behalf of the UK, my deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand after the horrifying terrorist attack in Christchurch. My thoughts are with all of those affected by this sickening act of violence.— Theresa May (@theresa_may) March 15, 2019
Muslim-majority Indonesia extended their deepest sympathies while revealing two Indonesian citizens were injured during the attacks.
"The government and the people of Indonesia convey deep condolences to the victims and their families," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi announced.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and friends affected by the horrific and unprecedented shooting, including the 2 Indonesian citizens injured in the incident.— Menteri Luar Negeri Republik Indonesia (@Menlu_RI) March 15, 2019
There is no place for such acts in New Zealand or anywhere else in the world.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan cited Islamophobia as a result of the September 11 attacks as a contributing factor to the massacre.
"Shocked and strongly condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attack on mosques. This reaffirms what we have always maintained — that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families," Khan tweeted.
I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam & 1.3 bn Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim. This has been done deliberately to also demonize legitimate Muslim political struggles. https://t.co/5bBREoayLz— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 15, 2019
Tweets and condolences continue to stream in from around the world.
Shocked and horrified by the tragic terrorist attacks in New Zealand.— Hugh Evans (@Hughcevans) March 15, 2019
49 lives taken by the actions of xenophobic, racist & misguided terrorists.
There is no place for hate in our world.
We must stamp out all forms of racism & stand with the victims families. #NewZealand
Bangladesh team escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters. They ran back through Hagley Park back to the Oval. pic.twitter.com/VtkqSrljjV— Mohammad Isam (@Isam84) March 15, 2019
The Queen has sent the following message to the people of New Zealand.— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) March 15, 2019
I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch today. Prince Philip and I send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives...(1/2)
Young demonstrators hold banners from multi-faith group 'Turn to Love' during a vigil at New Zealand House in London, Friday, March 15, 2019.
Young demonstrators hold banners from multi-faith group 'Turn to Love' during a vigil at New Zealand House in London, Friday, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques full of worshippers attending Friday prayers on what the prime minister called "one of New Zealand's darkest days," as authorities detained four people and defused explosive devices in what appeared to be a carefully planned attack.
Indian Muslims hold placards during a condolence meeting and protest against Friday's mass shootings in New Zealand in Mumbai, India, Friday, March. 15, 2019.
Indian Muslims hold placards during a condolence meeting and protest against Friday's mass shootings in New Zealand in Mumbai, India, Friday, March. 15, 2019. Dozens of people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques full of worshippers attending Friday prayers on what the prime minister called "one of New Zealand's darkest days."
Christchurch police have requested all residents stay inside and all mosques remain closed while investigations continue.
Members of the public can register missing persons or register themselves as alive on the Restoring Family Links (RFL) website. People living in New Zealand can also register missing persons by calling 0800 115 019.