CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND: In the deadliest terror attack in New Zealand, at least 49 people have died as a gunman opened fire in two mosques. One of the attackers has been identified as a 28-year-old Australian man.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison while confirming the attacker stated that the shooting in Christchurch was carried out by “an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist” who was an Australian-born citizen.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the incident of shooting as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”. The police said they have taken four people in custody after the incident.
The mosques were packed with worshippers gathering for Friday afternoon prayers, and members of the Bangladesh cricket team were arriving when the shooter opened fire.
The attacker was dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit, and carrying an automatic rifle had started randomly shooting people in the Al Noor mosque, said an eye witness.
The Bangladesh cricket team, who is currently in New Zealand, tweeted that the team had “escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters”.
Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Jalal Yunus said most of the team had gone to the mosque by bus and were about to go inside when the incident took place.
According to government data, Muslims make up around 1.1% of New Zealand’s population.