Forty nine people have been murdered at two mosques in New Zealand as part of an “extremist, right-wing” terrorist attack.
The attacks took place at 1:40pm local time in Christchurch, NZ. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called it one of New Zealand’s “darkest days.”
The news has taken over international media with broadcasters including CNN, BBC and CNBC going live to New Zealand – the worst shooting attack to ever take place in the country.
Twenty others have been wounded in the shootings, which saw armed gunmen open fire in the mosques, while bombs were found attached to the attackers’ cars. Police said four people have been taken into custody – three men and one woman – although authorities have established that one of these was not involved.
The attacks appeared to have been livestreamed on Facebook from head-mounted cameras but the social media site said that it has removed the attackers’ Facebook and Instagram accounts and was taking down any copies of the footage.
New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush said, “Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high. Police recommend that residents across Christchurch remain off the streets and indoors until further notice.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern added, “It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack.”
President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences, as did former President Barack Obama: