Church leaders react with shock after NZ mosque shootings

Cheryl Sanders
March 16, 2019

Shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch have killed forty-nine people and seriously injured at least 20 others.

The police also advised local residents to stay away from mosques until further notice.

A sickening 17-minute video of the horror shows the self-professed white supremacist dressed in army fatigues firing mercilessly at people scrambling on the floor as he reloads his rifle.

One eye witness said that the gunman entered from the main entrance of the building and began shooting.

New Zealand's deadliest mass shooting occurred in 1990 when a loner killed 13, including women and children, within 24 hours in Aramoana, a small village.

Bishop of Peterborough Donald Allister said: "I was horrified to hear of the shootings at the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Many of those affected will be members of our migrant communities - New Zealand is their home - they are us", the prime minister later tweeted.

The gunman is said to be an Australian citizen, and has been described as an "extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist" by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the shooting a well-planned terrorist attack in a press conference, saying the shooters had "extremist views" that have "no place in New Zealand or the world".

"Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online".

A forth person arrested on Friday who was in possession of a firearm, but with the intention of assisting police, has since been released. We would strongly urge that the link not be shared.

Basu said British counter-terror officers were ready to support their colleagues in New Zealand in responding to and investigating Friday's attack.

Al-Azhar University, Egypt's 1,000-year-old seat of Sunni Islamic learning, called the attack "a risky indicator of the dire consequences of escalating hate speech, xenophobia, and the spread of Islamophobia". "But we can not assume there are no others at large", Commissioner Mike Bush told reporters.

While British YouTube personality KSI furiously vented: "Just makes me sad that someone with such a sick and twisted agenda would want to cause so much harm to people he doesn't even know".

Bush later stated that a number of improvised explosive devices, which had been attached to vehicles, had been defused after the shootings.

London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, said the city's Metropolitan Police force would be visible outside mosques.

A man in his late twenties has been charged with murder and is due to appear in court tomorrow.

"They are safe. But they are mentally shocked".

In a 74-page manifesto "The Great Replacement", believed to have been written by Tarrant, he says his motives include to "create an atmosphere of fear" and to "incite violence" against Muslims.

The known targets so far were the Masjid al Noor mosque in central Christchurch where the death toll has surpassed 40, as well as a second mosque in suburban Linwood, police said. Three others were apprehended.

The third cricket test was cancelled, New Zealand Cricket said later. Injuries range from critical to minor.

Jordan's King Abdullah II tweeted that "the heinous massacre against Muslims praying in peace in New Zealand is an appalling terrorist crime".

Other reports by iNewsToday