Multiple fatalities after shootings in two mosques in New Zealand

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said that four people are in custody but police still investigating.

Posted: Mar 14, 2019 10:44 PM
Updated: Mar 14, 2019 11:25 PM

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand - Police in the New Zealand city of Christchurch said that there are multiple fatalities after shootings in two mosques in the city center on Friday.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said that four people are in custody -- three men and one woman -- but police are unsure if there are any other suspects.

The shootings occurred at the Masjid al Noor mosque at Deans Avenue and Linwood Masjid in Linwood.

"We are unsure if there are any other locations outside of that area that are under threat," Bush said.

Multiple improved explosive devices were attached to vehicles as part of the attack, Bush told reporters. These had been "made safe by the defense force."

"This goes to the seriousness of the situation," he said.

Authorities said that they "will not be discussing the offenders' possible motivations or the causes of this incident" at this stage.

However, in a social media post just before the attack, an account that is believed to belong to one of the attackers posted a link to an 87-page manifesto that was filled with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim ideas and explanations for an attack. The manifesto was not signed.

Police were still treating the incident as ongoing and urged Christchurch residents to stay indoors and monitor the police website and social media.

The situation was also considered as to limited to Christchurch and Bush asked "anyone who was thinking of going to a mosque anywhere in New Zealand today not to go. To close your doors until you hear from us again," he said.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern held a press conference into the shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, describing it as "one of New Zealand's darkest days."

"What has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence," she said.

Ardern said the attacker has "no place in New Zealand."

"For now my thoughts and I'm sure the thoughts of all New Zealanders are with those who have been affected their families," she said.

Police said they have mobilized every national police resource to respond to the incident.

Gunman opened fire 'for ten to 15 minutes"

This is a developing story, stay tuned for updates:

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