New Zealand mosque attacks: All you need to know so far, As it happened

15 Mar 16:14

New Zealand mosque attacks: What we know

During afternoon prayers on Friday – Islam's holy day – a gunman opened fire inside the Masjid al Noor mosque in central Christchurch, killing 41.

Another seven were slain at a second mosque 5km away in suburban Linwood, three of them outside the building.

It is unclear where the remaining victim died.

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15 Mar 15:28

Queen 'deeply saddened' by New Zealand mosque attacks

"I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch... At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders," Queen Elizabeth said in a message.

"Prince Philip and I send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives," she said, paying tribute to emergency workers and volunteers providing support to the injured. - (AFP)

15 Mar 15:00

Mosque killer's rifles bore white-supremacist references

The self-proclaimed racist who attacked a New Zealand mosque conducting Friday prayers during an assault that killed 49 people opened fire with rifles covered in white-supremacist graffiti and listened to a song glorifying a Bosnian Serb war criminal.

These details highlight the toxic belief system behind an unprecedented, live-streamed massacre, which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

Trying to understand what motivated the slaughter may be difficult, as some of the material posted by the killer resembles the meme-heavy hate speech prominent in dark corners of the internet. - (AP)

15 Mar 14:13

New Zealand mosques' attack suspect praised Trump in manifesto

The Australian-born suspect who shot dead dozens of Mulim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand, has published a manifesto citing US President Donald Trump and Anders Breivik, the Norwegian white supremacist who murdered 77 people in Norway in 2011.

The 74-page dossier by Brenton Tarrant, which has been described by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison as a "work of hate", praised Trump as "a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose".

The 28-year-old, who is now in police custody, also claimed that he had "brief contact" with Breivik and had received a "blessing" for his actions from the mass murderer's acquaintances.

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15 Mar 13:10

WATCH: Four in custody following NZ mosque shooting - police

New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush addresses the media following the mosque shooting in Christchurch, saying four people are in custody after the "unprecedented situation".

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15 Mar 12:46

Air New Zealand cancels at least 17 flights 

National carrier Air New Zealand has canceled at least 17 flights in and out of Christchurch, saying it couldn't screen customers and their baggage following deadly shootings at two mosques.

The airline said some smaller planes travelling on regional routes were cancelled while larger jet planes would continue landing and taking off due to security screening processes already in place.

Typically, passengers on smaller turboprop aircraft travelling to or from Christchurch don't go through security screening and are able to walk right onto the plane.

Air New Zealand said the safety of its customers and employees was paramount and apologised for the inconvenience.  - (AP)


15 Mar 12:40

Bangladesh 'minutes' from being caught up in massacre

Bangladesh's Test cricketers were just a few minutes from being caught up in Friday's massacre in New Zealand when they arrived at a Christchurch mosque as shooting began, a team spokesperson said.

In a chilling account, Khaled Mashud described how most of the Bangladeshi team drove up to the Masjid al Noor in a bus just as the attack got underway.

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15 Mar 12:33

WATCH: Jacinda Ardern condemns Christchurch mosque shootings

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has condemned the attack on two mosques in Christchurch. 

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15 Mar 12:30

'Odious crimes against the mosques in New Zealand'

France is increasing security measures at mosques and other religious sites after the deadly attack against two mosques in New Zealand.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner tweeted on Friday that he ordered regional prefects to send patrols and reinforce surveillance of places of worship "as a precaution".

French President Emmanuel Macron, also in a tweet, denounced the "odious crimes against the mosques in New Zealand" and said that France will work with international partners to fight terrorism.

The rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris condemned the attack in Christchurch, which left at least 49 dead.

France is home to western Europe's largest Muslim community. While French Muslim and Jewish sites are sporadically targeted by vandals, France has not seen a major attack on mosques of the kind that targeted New Zealand. - (AP)

15 Mar 12:24

'Solidarity with the people of New Zealand'

Japan's top government spokesperson has offered his condolences to the victims of mosque attacks in New Zealand and says Japan stands by the people of that country.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, in a regular news conference on Friday, expressed "heartfelt condolences" to the shooting victims and their families, while extending sympathy for the injured.

Suga expressed "solidarity with the people of New Zealand".

Japan's Foreign Ministry issued an emergency safety advisory to Japanese nationals in the area, urging them to stay indoors and follow instructions from the local authorities.

The ministry also advised the Japanese in Christchurch to closely monitor local news "to secure your own safety".

So far no Japanese have been affected by the attacks. - (AP)

15 Mar 12:23

WATCH: Christchurch massacre kills 49

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush speaks to reporters in Wellington, New Zealand, following a mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday. Mr Bush says the death toll from today's massacre currently lies at 49.

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15 Mar 11:49

London mayor says mosque attacks 'heartbreaking'

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has expressed solidarity with the people of New Zealand following attacks on worshippers attending prayers at two Christchurch mosques.

Khan said in a statement on Friday that the news is "heartbreaking".

He says: "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."

Khan sought to reassure Muslim communities in London following the attacks, saying that the Metropolitan Police would be visible outside mosques.

London mosques have been targeted in the past. One man died and several others were injured in 2017 when Darren Osborne drove a van into people leaving evening prayers.

Prosecutors say Osborne was motivated by a hatred of Muslims and been radicalized by far-right propaganda he found online.

15 Mar 11:28

'Brutal crime'

Germany's foreign minister says the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch are a "brutal crime" that touches people of all religions around the world.

In two tweets, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday Germany's sympathies were with the friends and families of the victims of the attack.

He says "the horrific terrorist attack in Christchurch targeted peacefully praying Muslims — if people are murdered solely because of their religion, that is an attack on all of us.

"Maas says "we stand at the side of the victims. Stay strong New Zealand!"

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