Forty-nine people have been shot dead and 48 injured in attacks at two mosques during Friday prayers in Christchurch, the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history. The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said this was “one of New Zealand’s darkest days” as police uncovered explosive devices attached to cars and commissioner Mike Bush urged all mosques across the country to close their doors for the time being. One explosive had been safely detonated and another was in the process of being dismantled, Bush said, but the situation was still “evolving” with a real possibility of further offenders being explored. New Zealand’s entire police arsenal and personnel were deployed throughout the country and en masse in Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city, which is known to have an active white-supremacist subculture. Hotels in the inner city stationed security guards at their entrances, and armed police continued to protect landmarks of significance, including the courthouse and Christchurch hospital, which is believed to have been a further target of the suspected terrorist group, with a Christchurch spokesperson telling local media police were concerned the group had plans to target the victims of the mosque attack as they were transported to hospital.
Source: The Guardian March 15, 2019 01:39 UTC