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49 killed in terror attack on 2 New Zealand mosques

49 killed in terror attack on 2 New Zealand mosques

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Mar 16, 2019 - 02:07

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A ‘right-wing extremist’ killed 49 worshippers and wounded dozens more at two mosques in New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday using semi-automatic weapons, media reports said.

The dead were said to include womeninfo-icon and children. Around 48 people were treated for gunshot wounds at Christchurch Hospital, including young children.

A 28-year-old Australian-born man has been arrested and charged with murder. He is set to appear at the Christchurch District Court early Saturday. Two other men remain in custody, although their link to the attack is unknown.

The Australian man, identified by international media as Brenton Tarrant, live-streamed footage of himself going room-to-room, victim to victim, shooting the wounded from close range as they struggled to crawl away.

He also published a racist 'manifesto' on social media before the attack, featuring conspiracy theories about Europeans being "displaced" by immigrants and details of two years of preparation and radicalisation leading up to the shootings.

His two targets were the Masjid al Noor mosqueinfo-icon, where 41 people died, and a second, smaller mosque in the suburb of Linwood, where seven more died. The remaining victim succumbed in hospital.

The attack, the deadliest against Muslims in the West in modern times, was dubbed as 'terrorism' by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, as she guided a shocked nation on one of its “darkest days”.

Speaking in Sydney, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the gunman as “an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist”.

The survivors included 17 members of Bangladesh's cricket team, whose game against New Zealand on Saturday has been postponed, and a Palestinian man who fled for his life after seeing someone being shot in the head.

New Zealand police described the footage shot by the gunman as “extremely distressing” and warned web users that they could be liable for up to 10 years in jail for sharing such “objectionable content”.

In addition to the footage, a number of pictures were posted to a social media account showing a semi-automatic weapon covered in the names of historical figures, many of whom were involved in the killing of Muslims.

The attack has shocked New Zealanders and shocked the local Muslim population, many of whom had come to New Zealand as refugees. The Ardern government has been vocal in its support for opening the doors to those suffering from wars in Syria, Afghanistaninfo-icon and beyond.

One witness told stuff.co.nz he was praying when he heard shooting — and then saw his wife lying dead on the footpath outside when he fled. Another man said he saw children being shot. “There were bodies all over,” he said.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/ma

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