New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the countrymen and said that the country has suffered one of its worst mass shootings after attacks at two mosques in the South Island city of Christchurch left an unknown number of people dead and injured.
“It is clear this is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” Ardern told reporters on Friday. “What has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence. It has no place in New Zealand. This is not who we are.”
Police Commissioner Mike Bush declined to comment on whether it was an act of terrorism but said the situation was unprecedented in New Zealand. He said a number of home-made bombs were found attached to vehicles that police stopped.
“They’ve been made safe by the defence force but that does go to the seriousness of the situation,” Bush told a news conference. Police have asked all mosques nationally to shut their doors and advised people to refrain from visiting them until further notice. Christchurch schools were put in lockdown for several hours and residents told to stay off the streets.