New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirms that 40 people have lost their lives and more than 20 people seriously injured in mosque shooting.
Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison confirmed that an Australian citizen was among the four people taken into custody in the New Zealand’s mosque shootings. The four people included one three men and a woman.
Armed police were deployed after receiving reports of shots fired in Christchurch city center at 1:40 pm on Friday (local time). According to New Zealand news site TVNZ, the incident took place at a mosque.
“One person is in custody, however Police believe there may be other offenders. This is an evolving incident and we are working to confirm the facts, however we can confirm there have been a number of fatalities.”, The New Zealand Police had posted earlier on Facebook.
Local media reports suggest that a gunman entered a mosque on Friday, in Christchurch city, South Island, New Zealand and started shooting with an automatic weapon.
“A gunman – dressed in black with a helmet carrying a machine gun – came into the back of the mosque and started firing into the people praying there,” Al Jazeera quoted local media as saying.
People as young as 16 years are reported to have been inside the mosque at the time of firing. Several casualties are feared, as authorities are yet to confirm the exact figure of deceased or wounded.
“In response to a serious ongoing firearms incident in Christchurch all Christchurch schools have been placed into lockdown. Police urge anyone in central Christchurch to stay off the streets and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111”, the New Zealand Police tweeted.
The Bangladesh Cricket Team was about to enter the mosque when the shooting started and reportedly narrowly escaped the shooting.
“This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days. It was an unprecedented act of violence. Police has apprehended a person, but I don’t have further details of him yet.”, Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand Prime Minister said.