Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Many dead in New Zealand shooting at two mosques during Friday prayers

Many dead in New Zealand shooting at two mosques during Friday prayers

In the wake of New Zealand's worst mass shooting in history, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has promised to move quickly to strengthen national security through measures like working with Australia.

She said questions must also be asked on how the 28-year-old Australian citizen was able to enter New Zealand.

The government advised people not to go to mosques until further notice.

The shooter's two targets were the Masjid al Noor mosque, where 41 people were killed, and a second, smaller mosque in the suburb of Linwood, where seven more died.

Justin Trudeau is condemning the fatal shootings at two mosques in New Zealand, saying attacking people during prayers is "absolutely appalling".

A still image taken from video circulated on social media apparently taken by a gunman and posted online live as the attack unfolded shows him entering a mosque in Christchurch New Zealand Mar 15 2019. Social Media Website  Handout via REUTERS TV
There were bodies all over, witnesses recall

The shooting was live-streamed on Facebook, with the suspect killing 49 people and wounding more than 40 at two mosques before getting arrested by police.

New Zealand police described the footage shot by the gunman - which AFP has verified, but is not distributing - as "extremely distressing" and warned web users that they could be liable for up to 10 years in jail for sharing such "objectionable content".

Facebook, Twitter and Google companies scrambled to take down the gunman's video, which was widely available on social media for hours after the horrific attack.

Many of you will have seen that Air New Zealand has cancelled all turboprop flights out of Christchurch tonight and will review the situation in the morning.

"People started to pass by us with blood stains on their clothes, they were very scared and their voices were trembling, some people could not even speak", restaurant manager Prakash Sapkota, who was near the mosques, told Euronews.

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He said he and others escaped by breaking through a glass door.

After going back outside and shooting a woman there, he gets back in his auto, where the song "Fire" by the English rock band The Crazy World of Arthur Brown can be heard blasting.

Currently, New Zealand restricts the purchase of "military-style semi-automatic weapons" to those 18 or older.

In a rambling manifesto published online to justify the murderous attacks that followed, he introduced himself as "just a regular white man" of "Scottish, Irish and English stock". He said his brother last visited Jordan two years ago.

From what we know, it does appear to have been well planned.

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Numerous people leaving flowers have not been Muslim themselves.

Christchurch was the home of these victims.

Several of those who were killed or wounded in the shooting rampage at two New Zealand mosques on Friday were from the Middle East or South Asia, according to initial reports from several governments.

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