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At least forty nine people have died and three people have been taken into custody following shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. A 28 years old man will appear in court on March 16 on murder charges.
At around 1:40pm local time on Friday March 15 a gunman entered the Masjid Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch and opened fire. Nearby Linwood Mosque was also then targetted.
It has been reported multiple improvised explosive devices located on vehicles have been found and made safe.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said 41 people died at the Masjid Al Noor mosque, seven at the Linwood Avenue mosque, with another victim later dying in hospital.
Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, said the shootings “can only be described as a terrorist attack.”
“This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” said Ms. Ardern. “There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence.”
The 28 year old in custody has been confirmed to be an Australian citizen by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Mr. Bush said that four people had initially been arrested under suspicion of being involved with the attacks- of the four, one has been charged with murder, two remain in custody and the other (who was found armed at the scene) may not have been involved in the attack.