World leaders express disgust at New Zealand mosque attacks

17 March, 2019, 07:30 | Author: Donnie King
  • PM Scott Morrison says Australian authorities are investigating links between the country and terrorist attack. — AFP  File

AFP analysed a copy of the Facebook Live video, which shows a clean-shaven, Caucasian man with short hair driving to the Masjid al Noor mosque in central Christchurch, then shooting as he enters the building. Another person died elsewhere. New Zealand is also generally considered to be welcoming to migrants and refugees.

At least 48 people were wounded, some critically, authorities said.

"I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 (where) 1.3 billion Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror", Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan posted on social media.

Bedfordshire Police's Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said: "Thoughts with everyone in New Zealand".

He said he helped about five people recover in his home.

Trump, whose rhetoric is sometimes aligned with the far right in the United States, added: "The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do".

Police called on the public not to share the "extremely distressing" footage online.

The gunman who carried out at least one of the mosque attacks left a jumbled, 74-page manifesto that he posted on social media under the name Brenton Tarrant, identifying himself as a 28-year-old Australian and white supremacist who was out to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.

The gunman is said to be an Australian citizen, and has been described as an "extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist" by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Police do not believe there are any other suspects but said it was still an open investigation.

- Two improvised explosive devices were found on a vehicle after the shootings.

- All schools in Christchurch were put on lockdown and mosques told to shut their doors.

Police are reported to be patrolling United Kingdom mosques following the terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which a gunman targeted Muslims.

People are urged to stay indoors and report any suspicious behaviour.

Police describe it as an "active shooter" situation.

Police said three people were in custody including one man in his late 20s who had been charged with murder.

Ardern also said that the terrorists chose to attack New Zealand due to its tolerant and welcoming worldview.

"I strongly condemn the terror attack against the Al Noor Mosque in #NewZealand and Muslim worshippers", Erdogan said on Twitter.

At the White House, Trump called the bloodshed "a bad thing" but rejected any suggestion the white nationalist movement is a rising threat around the world, saying it is "a small group of people that have very, very serious problems".

"I hope that those involved will be severely punished", he said in a message to Arden.

Satellite navigational audio could also be heard in the video as the gunman drove to the mosque, which AFP tracked on Google StreetView showing his route for the two kilometres (1.2 miles) leading there. In it, he says he chose firearms because "with enough pressure, the left wing within the United States will seek to abolish the Second Amendment, and the right wing within the USA will see this as an attack on their very freedom and liberty".



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