New Zealand mosque shooting: 'pray for God's peace'

New Zealand mosque shooting: 'pray for God's peace'

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that increasing "Islamophobia" after the 9/11 terror attacks in the United States was responsible for the attack on two mosques in New Zealand that killed at least 49 worshippers.

Officers responded to reports of shots fired in central Christchurch at about 1.40pm local time (12.40am GMT), and urged people in the area to stay indoors.

"Strongly condemning" the terror attack on the mosques in New Zealand, Prime Minister Khan tweeted: "This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion". Forty-eight people, including children, are receiving treatment in Christchurch Hospital after being injured in the attack, according to New Zealand health authorities.

Police have taken four people into custody, including three men and one woman.

"We're hoping that, over time, people will see sense and understand that violence doesn't create any kind of peace or stability".

Forty-one people were killed at the al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue, said Mike Bush, New Zealand's Police Commissioner.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the events in Christchurch represented "an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence", and that numerous victims could be migrants or refugees.

"We stand for an Aotearoa New Zealand which will never condone such violence".

Prime Minister Ardern had explained that while many people impacted by the shootings were migrants and refugees, "They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home".

Moreover, Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel said she was "shocked beyond words" by the shootings.

In the aftermath, the country's threat level was raised from low to high, police warned Muslims against going to a mosque anywhere in New Zealand, and the national airline canceled several flights in and out of Christchurch, a city of almost 400,000.

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Based on the video, the attacker was at the scene of the first mosque for about 10 minutes, and police did not arrive until after that.

Police stand outside a mosque after the shooting.

One of the alleged gunmen has Australian citizenship, the Prime Minister of Austrlia, Australia, Scott Morrison, has said.

All mosques in New Zealand had been asked to shut their doors and armed guards posted at them, police said, adding they were not actively looking for any other "identified suspects". Some people have minor wounds while others are in a critical condition.

"If measures are not taken right away, news of other disasters will follow this one".

"There were a number of IEDs attached to the vehicles that we also stopped". On Saturday, people across the country were reaching out to Muslims in their communities on social media to volunteer acts of kindness - offering rides to the grocery store or volunteering to walk with them if they felt unsafe.

In the video live-streamed by Tarrant, a man inside a mosque appears to say "Welcome brother" as a gunman approaches.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern held a press conference following the shooting at the two mosques in Christchurch, saying the incident marked "one of New Zealand's darkest days". Mark Nichols told the New Zealand Herald that he heard about five gunshots and that a worshipper returned fire with a rifle or shotgun.

Part of the attack which took place at Al Noor Mosque was broadcast live.

Christchurch is home to almost 400,000 people and is sometimes called the Garden City. Injuries ranged from minor to critical.

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