Updated: A video, and several images posted to social media that appear to tally with the incident, shows weapons scrawled with writing about Serbian knights who fought Ottoman Turks and Bosnian in the Middle Ages. The manifesto condemns the U.S.-led bombing of Yugoslavia, which began 20 years ago next week, saying that NATO “fought beside Muslims and slaughtered Christian Europeans attempting to remove these Islamic occupiers from Europe. The 74-page manifesto titled “The Great Replacement” was posted online beforehand and matched several known details about the suspect and the attack. It contains an array of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and white-supremacist references, repeating common far-right talking points. It also condemns attempts to restrict firearms in the U.S. and pledges to start an American race war. The author said he had been planning the attack for two years and moved from Australia to New Zealand to plan and train. Though New Zealand was not the original target for the assault, he said he chose it because of its image as one of the safest countries in the world.
Earlier: Reports in the Australian media are stating that Christchurch mosque gunman Brenton Tarrant worked as a personal trainer at Big River Gym in the northern New South Wales city of Grafton. Gym manager Tracey Gray confirmed the man who filmed the attack and streamed it online was Tarrant. She said he worked at the gym after he finished school in 2009 until 2011, when he left to go travelling overseas in Asia and in Europe.
Earlier: President Donald Trump tweeted condolences to the people of New Zealand on Friday, hours after devastating shootings at two mosques in Christchurch.
My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2019
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also released a statement.
“The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate,” she said.
Earlier: New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush announced that the victims have risen to 49 persons.
Earlier: Prime Minister Ardern announced that one of the gunman has been identified as Brenton Tarrant and had two accomplices. The fourth person arrested today was not connected to the shootings says. Ardern says those arrested today were not on any watch lists in New Zealand.
Earlier: Police are cordoning off Victoria St in central Auckland in a new scare on a day that has left New Zealanders on edge.
Earlier, armed police were at Auckland’s Britomart Train Station where a controlled explosion has taken place following the discovery of two abandoned backpacks.
Two explosions have just gone off at Britomart
— Greater Auckland (@GreaterAKL) March 15, 2019
Earlier: The President of Malta, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, in a social media post expressed her grief for the mass killing in New Zealand. In her post she said “We grieve with the people of New Zealand. The terrible attack on two mosques is a reminder of the need for interfaith dialogue and respect, which has never been more urgent in our world. We must work together, as a Commonwealth family of nations and as an international community, to end the scourge of prejudice and hate in all of our communities and societies.”
Earlier: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed that 40 people have died in today’s shooting. Another 20 are injured. The Prime Minister added that this case can only be considered as a terror attack.
New Zealand is in shock after a mass shooting in Christchurch that left several victims. Initial reports are indicating that there can be up to 27 victims with the target being the local Muslim community.
At least two gunmen opened fire, according to witnesses with reports indicating that one might be Australian . Update: Four suspects – three men and one woman – are in custody. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed one of the male suspects was an “Australian-born citizen”.
The city is currently in lockdown, with reports of a third shooting scene and a car bomb in the area of Strickland St in Christchurch.
The New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has addressed the nation saying that this is “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”, and calling the attacks “an unprecedented act of violence”.
Initial reports are indicating multiple people have been shot dead in the shootings at least two mosques during Friday afternoon prayers with the Bangladesh cricket team present in one of them. A car with explosives inside was also intercepted by police nearby.
One suspect is in custody but police warned they are still tracing an active shooter. Police commissioner Mike Bush warned the public to: “Close your doors until you hear from us again.”
Police have warned people to avoid mosques anywhere in New Zealand following two shootings with multiple fatalities at two mosques in Christchurch.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said anyone thinking of going to a mosque should stay put and close their doors.
The deaths occurred at the Masjid Al Noor mosque on Dean’s Road and the Linwood Masjid on Linwood Avenue in Christchurch.
A Christchurch Hospital spokesman said some shooting victims were being treated at the emergency department but he could not provide numbers, because the hospital was in lockdown.