New Zealand (QNN) – White gunmen entered two mosques in Christchurch in New Zealand and opened fire, leaving at least 49 killed.
The gunmen entered al-Nour and Linwood Mosques, two central mosques in the city. The attackers carried out their crime during Friday prayers.
One gunman, identified as Brenton Tarrant, live streamed the horrifying attack with music in the background. Tarrant stepped out of his vehicle, carrying a machine gun, entered the mosque calmly and opened fire hysterically at the worshippers. The distressing footage showed some worshippers trying to escape, but they were immediately shot dead. The process took one minute. The gunman could flee before emergency services arrived.
Witnesses at the mosque said to Aljazeera that about 50 people were inside the building. Some worshippers hid under benches as the shooting took place, and others managed to escape through windows and doors but “many people had been hit, some as young as 16”.
“This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a news conference. “We’re dealing with an evolving situation across multiple sites,” she added. “Many of those who will have been affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand. They may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home and it is their home.”
Ardern referred to the terrorist attack as an act of “extreme and unprecedented violence.”
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said four suspects were in custody – three men and a woman – but added: “Let’s not presume the danger is gone.”
The police adviced the people of Christchurch city to remain indoors and warned worshippers not to visit mosques “anywhere in New Zealand.”
On his Twitter account, made in February 2019, the shooter Brenton Tarrant uploaded pictures of his weapons, written on them names of extremists and criminals who carried out similar attacks. He also posted 87-page “anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim” manifesto, where he also threatened Erdogan, Merkel, and Khan, London mayor.
People expressed their outrage and shock on social media, demanding the authorities to take serious steps and procedures to stop such Islamophobic crimes.