New Zealand PM calls mosque shooting rampage a ‘well planned terrorist attack’

Last Updated: Mar 15 2019 19:36

On Friday, a gunman opened fire at a mosque in New Zealand and claimed lives of at least 49.

The attack took place in the city of Christchurch.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the gunman is a citizen of his country. He also called the shooter an “extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist”

Video footage widely circulated on social media, apparently taken by a gunman and posted online live as the attack unfolded, showed him driving to one mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people inside.

Reuters was unable to confirm the authenticity of the footage.

“This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “Clearly what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”

New Zealand’s Police Commissioner Mike Bush said “as far as we know” multiple fatalities occurred at two mosques. Police had one person in custody but they were not sure if others were involved, and people should stay away from mosques.

Police said earlier they were hunting “an active shooter” in the centre of Christchurch city.

“A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter,” New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said.

“Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high.”