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New Zealand shooting FULL WATCH : 49 DEAD and 48 injured in horrifying mosque massacre

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New Zealand shooting LIVE updates: 49 DEAD and 48 injured in horrifying mosque massacre – all videos

FORTY nine people were killed and 48 seriously injured in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in the country’s worst-ever mass shooting, which Prime Minister Jacinta Arden said was a terrorist attack.

A gunman broadcast live footage on Facebook of the track on one mosque after publishing a manifesto in which he denounced immigrants, calling them “invaders”. New Zealand has now been placed on its highest security level. One man in his 20s has been charged with murder and will appear in court tomorrow.
Three others are in custody.

All four people held extremist views but had not been on police watch lists
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said: “It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack.
12.20pm update: Corbyn lays wreath after terror attack

Jeremy Corbyn has laid a wreath outside the entrance to the High Commission of New Zealand in London.

A note attached to the wreath read: “In deep sadness at the tragic loss of life.

“In their memory let us build a world of diversity and respect.”

He then went inside the building where he met the high commissioner Sir Jerry Mateparae.

The Labour leader then went inside the building, where he met the high commissioner Sir Jerry Mateparae.

12.15pm update: Irish PM reacts to ‘horrific’ and ‘harrowing’ news

Leo Varadkar has encouraged “tollerance and openess” over “hate.

He tweeted: “Horrific, harrowing news from New Zealand.

“We stand with the people of Christchurch & NZ at this unimaginably difficult time.

“Tolerance & openness will overcome hate.”

12.05pm update: Muslims urged to ‘remain calm and display common sense’

In a written statement, Dr Mustafa Farouk, President of the Federation of Islamic Associations, said: “We mourn for those who have lost their lives and pray for the welfare and health of those who have been injured.

“The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ), on behalf of all the Muslims of New Zealand, seek the prayers and support of all New Zealanders for the victims of this senseless act.

“We ask our Muslim brothers and sisters to remain calm and display common sense.”

He continued: We ask the Muslims of New Zealand and overseas to pray for peace at this time of great sadness,” he continued.

“We can only hope that this is an isolated incident and that New Zealand will return to being the peaceful country it has long been for all who live here, whatever their religion.”

12pm update: New Zealand ‘reeling’ from one if its ‘darkest days’

Speaking at the Irish Farmers Journal conference in Dublin, the New Zealand ambassador to the EU and Nato David Taylor said: “Our Prime Minister described this as one of our darkest days and she condemned in the strongest possible terms what’s happened.

“New Zealand is reeling from this. But, as the Prime Minister said, New Zealand represents diversity, kindness, compassion.

“We’re a home for those who share our values and a place of refuge for those in need – I’m getting choked up – and that will not change.

“We will stay as strong as we have been and will continue and go forward from here.”
11.55pm update: Prince Charles ‘utterly horrified’ about the attacks

The Prince of Wales said: “Both my wife and I were utterly horrified to hear of the most barbaric attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, which resulted in the cruel and tragic loss of so many people’s lives.

“It is beyond all belief that so many should have been killed and injured at their place of worship and our most special and heartfelt sympathy goes out to all the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives.

“This appalling atrocity is an assault on all of us who cherish religious freedom, tolerance, compassion and community. I know that the people of New Zealand will never allow hate and division to triumph over these things they hold dear.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families, the first responders, the people of Christchurch and all New Zealanders at this most heartbreaking of times.”

11.50am: ‘The US stands by New Zealand for anything we can do’ – Trump

US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: “My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques.

“Forty nine innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured.

“The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!”

11.45am update: White House condemns deadly attack as ‘vicious act of hate’

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said: “The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

“We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate11.40am update: Merkel left ‘deeply shaken’ by shooting

The German Chancellor said in a statement: “Deeply shaken, I follow the news from Christchurch.

“I mourn with the New Zealanders for their fellow citizens who have peacefully raided their mosques and been murdered out of racial hatred, standing side by side with such terror

11.35am update: Scotland stepping up ‘reassurance patrols around mosques’

Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr said in a statement: “There is no intelligence to suggest there is any specific threat to Scotland.

“We are monitoring events in New Zealand closely and send our condolences to all those affected.

“We benefit from having strong and cohesive communities in Scotland. We stand together with all our communities and partners here and overseas, and will continue to work with them to counter the threat no matter where it comes from.

“There is no intelligence to suggest there is any specific threat to Scotland.

“Today we will be stepping up reassurance patrols around mosques and increasing engagement with communities of all faiths, giving advice on how people and places can protect themselves.”

11.25am update: Turkish President Erdogan condemns ‘deplorable act’

Recep Tayyiip Erdogan said on Twitter: “I strongly condemn the terror attack against the Al Noor Mosque in #NewZealand and Muslim worshippers. May Allah have mercy on the victims and grant a speedy recovery to the wounded.

“On behalf of my country, I offer my condolences to the Islamic world and the people of New Zealand, who have been targeted by this deplorable act – the latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia.”
11.15pm update: World Jewish Congress leader expresses ‘horror and revulsion’

President Ronald S Lauder said: “I would like to express my horror and revulsion at the terrorist attacks which have targeted people attending two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand today during Friday prayers.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the victims, and to the people of New Zealand. We must redouble efforts to combat hatred and division in our societies, from wherever it emanates.”

10.55am update: Queen sends her condolences to those affected by shooting

She said in a statement: “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.

“I also pay tribute to the emergency services and volunteers who are providing support to those who have been injured.

“At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders.”

10.45am update: ‘We must defeat bigotry which fuels such hatred and violence – Corbyn

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote on Twitter: “My heart goes out to the victims of the horrific terror attack in New Zealand.

“We stand in solidarity with the Muslim community in Christchurch and around the world.

“We must defeat the bigotry which fuels such hatred and violence.”
10.40am update:  ‘Those who seek to divide us will never succeed’ Sadiq Khan in defiant message

The Mayor of London has posted a video on his Twitter account after the attacks.

He said: “Like so many Londoners and people around the world, I’m heartbroken by the news from Christchurch, New Zealand

“Many innocent people – men, women and children have been horrifically targeted and murdered in a terrorist attack in mosques because of their faith

“My heart goes out to all the victims, their grieving families and friends

“Londoners stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Christchurch

“We stand in solidarity to say those who seek to divide us, to break our communities and destroy our way of life will never succeed

“When the flames of hatred are fanned when people are demonised because of their faith, when people’s fears are played on rather than addressed, the consequences are deadly, as we have seen so sadly today

” want to reassure the Muslim community here in London that we will do everything possible to support and protect you

“I am in regular contact with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the Met will be increasing their presence around Masjids for Jumma prayers today

Those who seek to divide us will never succeed

We will always reject their hatred, and proudly protect our diversity
10.05am update: ‘He just started shooting – ‘bang, bang, bang’

Ramzan Ali told the New Zealand Herald he was “the last person to get out of the al door mosque alive”.

He said: “I saw people running for all the doors.

“To get 300 people out of the doorways was not easy – out of two doorways, because he entered through the main door, and there were two more doors on the sides.

“He just started shooting – ‘bang, bang, bang’. My cousin was sitting beside me and he got hit in his leg.”

9.50am update: Macron vows to fight world terrorism with partners

French President Emmanuel Macron has tweeted: “All our thoughts for the victims of heinous crimes against the mosques of Christchurch in New Zealand and for their loved ones.

“France stands against all forms of extremism and acts with its partners against terrorism in the world.”

9.45am update: ‘He didn’t want anyone to stay alive’ – survivor

A man who survived the shooting by hiding told Radio New Zealand: “He started to shoot them.

“Anyone who he thinks is still alive, he will continue shooting them.

“He didn’t want anyone to stay alive.”
9.35am update: France increases security measures neat religious sites

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner tweeted: “Solidarity with the people of New Zealand grieving by the heinous terrorist attack of #Christchurch.

“My first thoughts go to the relatives and families of the victims whose emotion and sadness we share.

“As a precaution, I immediately called our prefects to the utmost vigilance and asked them to strengthen the surveillance of the places of worship of our country.

“Patrols will be provided in the vicinity of denominational spaces.”

France is home to the largest Muslim minority population in Western Europe and suffered deadly Islamist militant attacks in 2015 and 2016.

9.30am update: Patrols stepped up near UK mosques

British counter terrorism officers are ready to help their counterparts in New Zealand, Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer has said.

Neil Basu, the British National Policing lead for Counter-Terrorism, said in a statement: “Our international network of UK counter-terrorism officers will be ready to support our counterparts in New Zealand in responding to and investigating this appalling attack.”

“We stand together with all our communities and partners here in the UK and overseas, and will continue to work with them to counter the threat no matter where it comes from.

“Together with our intelligence partners we continually monitor the varied threats we face, including to and around places of worship and specific communities across the country, to ensure we have the most appropriate protective security measures in place to keep people safe.

“Today we will be stepping up reassurance patrols around mosques and increasing engagement with communities of all faiths, giving advice on how people and places can protect themselves.

“We stand together with our Muslim communities and all those shocked and horrified by this terrorist attack in New Zealand.”
9.10am update: ‘This shouldn’t happen in our country – we need to be embracing each other’

A local New Zealand resident told Sky News said: “It’s just so sad. This shouldn’t happen in our country.

“I’ve gone from being in shock to being angry – everyone should feel safe to pray however they want.

“We need to be embracing each other, reaching out and checking on our neighbours.

“Whether they are foreign or not to us, we need to be reaching out to each other.

“There is no tolerance for this in our society.”

9.02am update: Killer left 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto – authorities in New Zealand

He describes himself as “just a ordinary white man (sic), 28-years-old” who was “born in Australia”, authorities in New Zealand have said.

He adds in the manifesto: “My parents are of Scottish, Irish and English stock.

“I had a regular childhood without any great issues.

“I had little interest in education during my schooling, barely achieving a passing grade.”

8.55am update: Police presence stepped up at mosques in London

Mayor Sadiq Khan says there will be “highly visible policing” around mosques today, as well as “armed response officers” as people go to pray in the capital.

He tweeted: “Heartbreaking news from New Zealand this morning here innocent people have been murdered because of their faith.

“London stands with the people of Christchurch in the face of this horrific terror attack.

“London will always celebrate the diversity that some seek to destroy.

“I want to reassure the Muslim communities in London.

“I have been in touch with the Met Police. There will be highly visible policing around mosques today, as well as armed response officers, as Londoners go to pray.”
8.45am update: ‘Our city has changed forever today’ – Mayor of Christchurch

Lianne Dalziel has released a statement expressing her shock at the tragedy that has unfolded in Christchurch.

She said: “Our city has changed forever today. It is beyond belief that something like this should happen in our city and in New Zealand,” the Mayor says.

“Christchurch is a city that welcomes people from all cultures, religions and backgrounds and it breaks my heart to see this happen in our city.

“It is clear that an extremist moved here with the intention of carrying out a premeditated attack. The fact so many of our residents died is just devastating.

“We are all shocked and saddened by today’s events and our hearts go out to the victims and their families.

“This tragedy will touch all of us. No one will be unaffected. We will all need to pull together and support each through the coming days and weeks as we come to terms with the immense loss that our city has experienced.

“As a city we have faced more than our fair share of tragedy and adversity in the past few years. We will not be bowed by hatred and division. We will stand united in our grief and we will work together to create a welcoming, safe environment for everyone.

“I want to thank the Police, the first responders and all those who cared for the victims of today’s shootings. We will forever be grateful for their bravery and commitment in the face of such a violent act.

“I urge you all to look out for each other as we come to terms with the reality and enormity of what has happened in our city. Now is the time for tolerance and understanding.”
8.40am update: ‘Save us, we are in big trouble. Someone is shooting!’

Mohammed Isam, the Bangladesh correspondent for ESPN, told the BBC he was with the country’s cricket team near the Al Noor mosque when the attack happened.

He said: “I saw them get out of the parking lot, within five minutes one of the players [Iqbal] called me for help – he said save us, we are in big trouble someone is shooting.” said Isam.

“I didn’t take him seriously at first but then his voice was cracking up and I just ran for it. I tried to run all the way and I got a lift from someone and I reached the incident.”

8.22am update: Tusk tweets about ‘harrowing news’

European Council President Donald Tusk has described the attack as “harrowing news” and said Prime Minister Jacinta Arden can “count on our solidarity”.

He tweeted: “Harrowing news from New Zealand overnight.

“The brutal attack in Christchurch will never diminish the tolerance and decency that New Zealand is famous for.

“Our thoughts in Europe are with the victims and their families. PM @jacindaardern can count on our solidarity.”

8.15am update: Commissioner confirms suspects were not known to police

Mr Bush adds: “Part of our investigation ought to be to look back to ensure that law enforcement didn’t miss any opportunities to prevent this horrendous event.”

8.12am update: First photo of suspect Brenton Tarrant

The terrorist who opened fire on worshippers in the New Zealand mosque attacks which killed 49 people has been named as Brenton Tarrant.

The Australian allegedly live-streamed the slaughter on Facboook and identifed himself on Twitter after executing Muslims, including children, at point-blank range.

The suspected white supremacist revealed he was inspired by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011.

8.12am update: ‘Very well-planned event’

Commissioner Mike Bush says this was a “very well-planned event”.

He adds there were two IEDs in one car – one has been defused and another is being defused by security forces.

The commissers says two suspicious bags in Auklnd, destroyed in controlled explosions earlier, are not believed to be connected to the attack.

8.07am update: Suspect charged with murder

The commissioner says a male in his late 20s has been charged with murder and will appear in court tomorrow.

Officers are trying to establish the involvement of two further suspects arrested.

Mr Bush adds a fourth person detained may not have had anything to do with the attacks.

8.05am update: Death toll rises to 49

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has confirmed that 49 people have been killed.

He says 41 people died at the Masjid Al Noor mosque and seven died at the Linwood Islamic Centre.

One of the injured treated in hospital has now died, he says.

7.45am update: Theresa May offers condolances

The Prime Minister has tweeted: “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.”

7.32am update: Terror threat raised from low to HIGH after Christchurch massacre

New Zealand has raised its national terrorism threat level to the highest level after this morning’s mass shooting

7.25am update: Attacks condemned by Pakistan PM

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned the attacks, saying “terrorism does not have a religion”.

He tweeted: 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.”
7.18am update: UK stand with you in deepest sympathy – Jeremy Hunt

The Foreign Secretary tweeted: “Our hearts go out to the people of New Zealand following the news of this terrible act in Christchurch.

“NZ is one of the most peaceful, peace-loving and generous nations in the world.

“Your friends in the UK stand with you today in deepest sympathy.”

7.12am update: ‘We have never seen anything like this’

Local journalist Kurt Bayer from the New Zealand Herald told the BBC: “This is something that’s been unimaginable for this country.

“We have never have seen anything like this, this level of hate and depravity.”

7.06pm update: Must be vigilant against copycat attacks – Ardern

The PM says “we must always be vigilant” when asked about the danger of copycat attacks.

She added there would be a “heightened response from our agencies at entry level, to give assurances of safety to the public”.

7.04am update: IEDs but no confirmed suicide plan

Patricia Ardern confirms there were improvised explosive devices (IEDs) attached to the attackers’ vehicles, but has been unable to say whether they were planning a suicide car atrack.

She added: “My message would be we should not be perpetuating, sharing, giving any oxygen to this act of violence and the message that’s set behind it.”

Taking over live reporting from Claire Anderson.

7.01am update: Three people in custody after four reported earlier

The number of people in custody has dropped to three from the previous four.

Earlier, three men and one woman were taken into custody.

There is no further information why the number has changed.
6.58am update: Controlled detonation at Auckland’s largest train station

A controlled detonation has been conducted at Auckland’s largest train station, the Britomart Transport Centre.

The bomb square attended the station and cordoned off the area 40 minutes ago.

An explosion was heard minutes ago.

6.55am update: New Zealanders mourn the tragedy

New Zealanders are beginning to arrive with flowers and tributes across Christchurch.

Flowers are laid with notes of sympathy on the doorsteps of mosques across the country.

One woman told Stuff.nz: “We just brought flowers because hate can happen anywhere but so can love and I think that in times of pain it’s important that people show love to remind everyone that it’s still here and that people aren’t alone.

“I didn’t know what else to do except bring flowers and just to be here, not to leave alone.

“t’s just so terrible. I’m so sorry. It’s a very, very sad day for New Zealand. I think we’ll look back on it.”
6.44am update: Facebook has activated its “mark yourself safe” crisis respone

Social media site Facebook has activated its “mark yourself safe” crisis response for those affected by the mosque shootings.

The features was launched in 2011 following natural disasters until the Paris attacks in 2015.

The response has been activiated in a number of terrorist attacks globally.

6.39am update: New Zealand raises national terrorism threat from low to high

The Prime Minister has confirmed that the threat level across the country has been moved from “low” to “high”.

Of the confirmed death toll, 30 were killed at Al Noor mosque and 10 killed at Linwood mosque.

The 10 include three people were outside Linwood Avenue mosque at the time.

PM Arden has urged people to stop sharing the video of the incident or other details rom the attackes online.

She said: “What all of us can at least do is make sure we do not share, spread, or actively engage in that message of hate.”
6.33am update: PM says the four arrested are not on terrorist watch lists

Ms Arden said those arrested are not on watch lists.

She said: “I think we should be vigilant against extreme ideology and extreme violent acts” at a crisis press conference.

She went on to say security agencies are and need to be blind to where it comes from – they simply need to be vigilant against violent extremism.

The Prime Minister added she will be asking questions of her security agencies about not seeing this earlier and about access to firearms.

6.28am update: 40 people dead and 20 injured

Jacinda Arden has confirmed that 40 people died in the shooting with 20 people injured.

She said: “This can only be described as a terrorist attack.

“While we do not have anything to believe at this stage that there were any other suspects, we are not assuming that at this stage.”

Ardern says there is heightened security all over the country.

“Our thoughts and our prayers are with those that have been impacted today.

“Christchurch was the home of these victims. For many New Zealand may not have been the place they were born. For many New Zealand was their choice.”
6.17am update: Green Party co-leader send love to affected communities

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson and Green MP Golriz Ghahraman “send love” to the communities affected by the “shocking” event.
She told Stuff.au: “Now more than ever, we all need to commit to never letting this happen ever again.”
“I don’t even have the words to express the pain and hurt people are feeling.”
6.05am update: Is it safe to travel to Christchurch?

Concerns have been raised for those trying to get into and out of Christchurch following the hideous attack on Friday.

Air New Zealand, one of the country’s biggest airlines, has stepped in to explain to worried travellers what they can do.

In a tweet the company said: “Call volumes may be higher than usual as a result of this incident, impacted customers are not required to advise Air New Zealand today of changes to their travel plans.

“Air New Zealand has offered its support to emergency services managing the incident in Christchurch today.”

The firm says that it would waive any change fees and the difference in fare should customers be forced to change their plans.
5.06am update: YouTuber response to being named in gunman’s live stream

Swedish YouTuber who goes by the handle PewDiePie has responded to being named in the gunman’s live stream.

Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg said: “Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch. I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person.

“My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families and everyone affected by this tragedy.”

The gunman said at the end of his livestream that people should subscribe to the YouTuber.

4.56am update: Los Angeles police department deploying police around mosques

The LAPD are providing extra partols around mosques “out of an abundance of caution”.

They wrote on Twitter: “The LAPD is monitoring the horrific events unfolding in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“While this attack appears to be an isolated incident with no nexus to LA, out of an abundance of caution we’re providing extra patrols around mosques. Our thoughts & prayers are with all affected.”

4.53am update: Lockdowns and road cordons lifted

Lockdowns on schools throughout Christchurch have been lifted.

Police said in a statement the lockdown of schools throughout Christchurch had been lifted.
“We would like to reassure members of the public that there is a large police presence in the city and the safety of the community is our priority.”
The cordon on Langdons Road near the mosques has been lifted.
4.42am update: “I have worked so hard to be in New Zealand but what for – to be shot at?”

Witness describes shocking scenes inside the Linwood Mosque during the second shooting where 100 people were praying.
He told stuff.nz: “I didn’t know what a gun sounded like. It is customary when we are praying not to pay attention to the outside world … Gunshots kept happening and people kept praying.”

“I saw two females and four or five males dead and the rest were severe casualties. The whole mosque was filled with blood and dead bodies. It was like a battlefield.”

The 27-year-old had moved to New Zealand from Fiji in 2015.

“I am thinking, I have worked so hard to be in New Zealand but what for – to be shot at?”
4.37am update: Four people are in custody – three men and one woman

Mike Bush has confirmed that four people are in custody, but that things are moving very quickly.

One of which is an Australian citizen.

He will not confirm if it is a terrorist attack, but says “it does not get more serious than this”.

Police will not assume the violence is confined to Christchurch but say they have no reason to beliee there may be attacked in other countries.

However, he warns that they can’t be too careful.

4.33am update: New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush has opened a press conference

Mike Bush said: “This is absolutely tragic and there will be so many people affected.”

He says they will set up a facility so that families of the victims that can get the information they need, but they don’t have the identities of the victims yet, due to the lockdown.

Attackers were apprehended by local police, and Bush says he is “absolutely proud” of the officers who were involved.

A number of bombs were attacked to cars, the police have confirmed.

a number of IEDs attached to cars that have been made safe now.

“This speaks to the seriousness of what occurred,” said Bush.
3.59am update: Horrific witness account from someone at the Al Noor mosque

He told TVNZ: “It started in the main room.

“I was in the side room, so I didn’t see who was shooting but I saw that some people were running out to my room where I was in, I saw some people had blood on their body and some people were limping. It was at the moment I realised things were really serious.

“So I tried too get out and I pushed myself at the back where my car was, and from there I heard the shooting, it went on six minutes or more, I could hear screaming and crying, I saw some people drop dead, some people were running away, I was in a wheelchair, so I couldn’t get anywhere.

“He did his massacre inside the mosque.”

3.54am update: Armed police deployed to all central district mosques

Armed police have been stations in all central district mosques, Greer Berry has reported.

He would not confirm if it was a nationwide directive or due to a particular threat.

The airspace above Christchurch is now controlled.

Civil Aviation Authority spokeswoman Pania Shingleton said airspace over Christchurch city where the incident occurred was now controlled airspace.

3.44am update: Gunman was dressed in military-style clothing and wore a helmet

Horrifying witness account from Mohan Ibrahim who was inside the mosque when the shooting began.

He told the New Zealand Herald he thought it was an electric shock but then all these people started running.

He said: “I still have friends inside. I have been calling my friends but there are many I haven’t heard from. I am scared for my friends lives.”

Ahmad Al-mahmoud described seeing the man “coming through and shooting everyone in the mosque.

He told Stuff.co: “We’re trying to get everyone to run from the area because we couldn’t get everyone out throught the door.

He said he jumped over the back fence of the mosque to escape.

“I haven’t seen the guy correctly but he was wearing helmet and these things.”

3.36am update: The alleged suspect live streamed the vicious attack on Facebook

The gunman live streamed the attack in the mosque on Facebook.

The video has since been taken down by the social media site.

Videos show the man carrying an assault rifle covered in writing.

New Zealand Police said: “Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online.

“We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.”

3.20am update: “No one in the country must go to a mosque under any circumstances” – Police commissioner has warned

Police Comissioner Bush has warned people not to go to any mosques.

Air NZ have offered travellers to cancel their flights into Christchurch.

Anyone travelling out will also have flexibility and the airline says it will waive any change fees.

Customers can contact the airline on 0800 737 000 or via a Facebook message.
“Call volumes may be higher than usual as a result of this incident, impacted customers are not required to advise Air New Zealand today of changes to their travel plans,” the airline said in a written statement.
3.14am update: Prime Minister Jacinda Arden addresses the country

Jacinda Arden has condemned the attack and called it “one of New Zealan’s darkest days.”

She said: the perpetrator “has no place in New Zealand”.

“I’m not currently in a position to confirm casualties or injuries.” But she says it is clear so far “this is a significant event”.

“It will be one of New Zealand’s darkest days. I would describe it as an unprecedented act of violence.”

She says of the people who were attacked, “New Zealand is their home, they should have felt safe here.”

She will now hold a crisis meeting in Wellington.

3.10am update: Police tell residents to “Close doors until you hear from us again.”

New Zealand police have confirmed one suspect is in custody following the attack.

But the situation is ongoing and an active shooter is still at large.

Commissioner Mike Bush said it was a “very serious and grave situation” and warned people not to leave their homes.

He said: “Close your doors until you hear from us again.”
3.02am update: Second shooting in linwood mosque confirmed

A second shooting an linwood mosque has been confirmed by New Zealand Police only a few streets over.

The gunman live streamed the brutal attack on Facebook and wrote a 31-page manifesto about his plans to carry out the event.

Sabir Hussain, who was inside Linwood Mosque, said he was “doing a prayer when our Imam (the leader of a mosque) said our brothers have been shot”.
Hussain went into the washroom and saw one man dead outside through the window.
He knew he “was not safe”, jumped out of the window and hid behind a fence until police arrived.
A reporter at the scene said people at the cordon were hugging as they passed through the tape. One man wearing a prayer robe was covered in blood but appeared to be uninjured.
Police have confirmed multiple fatalities at both mosques.
2.55am update: A witness shares his experience with local media – “He did his massacre inside the mosque.”

A man who was at the mosque during the attack told news outlet TVNZ he hasn’t seen his wife, who was also in the mosque this morning, since the shooting.

The man, who is a wheelchair, gave a chilling account of the event.

He said: “It was very peaceful, calm and quiet, as it is when the sermon starts, you could hear a pin drop.

“Then suddenly the shooting started. It started in the main room.

“I was in the side room, so I didn’t see who was shooting but I saw that some people were running out to my room where I was in, I saw some people had blood on their body and some people were limping. It was at the moment I realised things were really serious.

“So I tried too get out and I pushed myself at the back where my car was, and from there I heard the shooting, it went on six minutes or more, I could hear screaming and crying, I saw some people drop dead, some people were running away, I was in a wheelchair, so I couldn’t get anywhere.

“He did his massacre inside the mosque.”
2.43am update: Local hospitals prepare for up to 50 causalities amid council building being put on lockdown

Christchurch City council said in a statement: “In response to a serious ongoing incident we’re locking down number of central city buildings, including the Civic Offices and Central Library.”

A number of local schools are also in a state of lockdown as people are urged not to travel within the vicinity of the city centre.

2.30am update: RECAP on events – witnesses tell of ‘blood everywhere’ in horror shooting

The gun attack happened at 1.40pm local time (0.40am GMT) during afternoon prayers.

Up to 300 people were inside the mosque when the shooting began according to reports.

Some members of the Bangladesh cricket team were filmed fleeing the scene.

A witness told Stuff NZ he had seen four people lying on the ground and “blood everywhere”.
The Bangladesh team’s Tamim Iqbal Khan wrote: “Entire team got saved from active shooters.

“Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers.

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