Friday, 22 March, 2019

New Zealand attacks revive 'painful' memories for Norway: PM

Grieving members of the public following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch New Zealand Grieving members of the public following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch New Zealand
Jeannette Daniel | 17 March, 2019, 11:59

The Palestinian chief peace negotiator, Saeb Erekat, called the attack a "consequence of racist ideologies that continue trying to promote religious wars".

Four suspects have been taken into custody following the shooting and the gunman has been charged with murder.

"Let's not presume the danger is gone", he said, adding that police had also defused a number of improvised explosive devices found on vehicles after the mosque shootings.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said: "This can only be described as a terrorist attack".

About the same time, there was a second shooting at Masjid mosque which is in Linwood.

A man in his late 20s has been charged with murder and will appear in Christchurch District Court on Saturday. The country's National Security Threat Level, which had been low, was hiked up to high.

A telegram of condolences sent by the Vatican on behalf of Pope Francis said he was "deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life" caused by the "senseless acts of violence" in Christchurch. At least seven were killed at the Linwood Masjid Mosque and at least three people died outside. They gave no details about those taken into custody except to say that none had been on any watch list.

In the document, he explicitly stated who he was and his justification for the shooting.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that one of the people detained was an Australian-born citizen. He had previously donated to and collaborated with nationalist organizations, though he claims to have acted alone in ordering the attack. Dunedin is a city near the southern tip of New Zealand, around 225 miles from Christchurch.

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Speaking about her family, she said: "I'm sure many of you at home will have relatives in New Zealand and it will be very alarming for you".

Kate was presenting the news programme alongside Charlotte Hawkins, and they were reporting the attack together.

New Zealand police said 49 people were killed. A witness named Len Peneha told reporters that he saw a man dressed in all black walk into the mosque, and then heard dozens of shots. "We have asked all mosques nationally to shut their doors, and advise that people refrain from visiting these premises until further notice", the police tweeted.

"When the flames of hatred are fanned, when people are demonized due to their faith, when people's fears are played on rather than addressed, the consequences are deadly as we have seen so sadly today", he said.

"For once, the person that will be called a fascist, is an actual fascist, I am sure the journalists will love that", he wrote. Mosques were advised to shut their doors until further notice. "I just don't understand it".

The gunman livestreamed 17 minutes of the rampage at the Al Noor mosque, where he sprayed worshippers with bullets.

A member of the AOS (Armed Offenders Squad) stands ready following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15, 2019.

Police were alerted to a shooting at a mosque on Deans Ave, near Hagley Park, at 1.53pm on Friday.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said bigotry in Western countries contributed to the attacks on Muslims in New Zealand. Nichols said he saw two wounded people being carried out on stretchers past his automotive shop.

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