New Zealand's Prime Minister Says It’s One Of The Country’s ‘Darkest Days’ After Twin Mosque Attacks
New Zealand's Prime Minister has provided an update on the horrific attack on two mosques in Christchurch.
Police say there have been 'multiple casualties' after two gunmen opened fire indiscriminately on hundreds of people inside the Masjid Al Noor Mosque in the city's centre and Linwood Masjid mosque.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters: "It is clear that this is one of New Zealand's darkest days. Clearly, what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.
"Certainly, it has occurred in a place where people should have been expressing their religious freedom. Where they should have been in a safe environment. And they have not been today.
"There is no place in New Zealand for such extreme acts of unprecedented violence. The people who were the subject of this attack today, New Zealand is their home. They should be safe here. The person who has perpetuated this violent act against them, they have no place in New Zealand society.
"Christchurch Hospital is dedicated to treating those who are arriving at the hospital as we speak as well.
"As soon as I leave here, I will be returning directly on a flight to Wellington. Agencies are already convening in Wellington. I will be looking to meet with them as soon as I land."
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"For now my thoughts and I'm sure the thoughts of all New Zealanders are with those who have been affected their families."
Police have confirmed one person is in custody.
One of the attackers live-streamed the horrific incident on social media, showing him shooting at mosque attendees running for their lives. Authorities say they're aware of the video being circulated, and are urging people not to share it.
"Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online," New Zealand Police tweeted. "We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.
They've urged people not to attend mosques around the country in the interest of their safety. The city and many schools in the area have been sent into lockdown.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said: "We are dealing with a very serious and tragic series of events."
"The multiple fatalities are at two locations, a mosque at Deans Ave and another mosque at Linwood Ave, Christchurch. We are unsure if there are any other locations outside of that area."
Police have not yet confirmed whether the incident is ongoing or if it has ended.
Featured Image Credit: PA