According to New Zealand officals at least 49 people were killed and 20 seriously injured in mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch Friday, in a carefully planned and unprecedented atrocity that shocked the usually peaceful nation.
The attack was unleashed at lunchtime local time Friday, when mosques were full of worshippers. Footage of the massacre was streamed live online, and a rambling manifesto laced with white supremacist references was published just before the shootings unfolded.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the horror as a terrorist attack, saying it was perpetrated by suspects with "extremist views" that had no place in her country or the wider world. It was one of the New Zealand's "darkest days," she said in a press conference Friday.
Authorities said that every law enforcement resource in the country was mobilized after the attack.
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'An extremist, right-wing terrorist'
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the suspect charged with murder was an Australian citizen and described him as "an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist".
He said Australian security authorities were investigating any links between the country and the attack, but declined to provide further details about the suspected gunman.
The 28-year-old suspect published a racist manifesto on Twitter before the shooting, then livestreamed his attack on Facebook.
Police have asked people not to share the footage, which was circulated online following the assault, and are working to have it removed. Officials also warned web users they could be liable for up to 10 years in jail for sharing such "objectionable content".
Police escort people away from outside a mosque in central Christchurch after the shootings.
World leaders react
Australian Prime Minister Morrison said he has asked for flags to be flown at half-staff out of respect for those killed in the attack. "Australians stand with all New Zealanders today during this dark time where hate and violence has stolen their peace and innocence. Kia kaha (stay strong)," Morrison tweeted earlier.
US President Donald Trump said in a tweet: "My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can."
In a statement, the White House said: "The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate."
Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), condemned the attacks. The OIC represents 57 nations with large or majority-Muslim populations.
The messages kept coming across the United States officals and county governments. No offical reaction were given by the CPQL of Los Santos so far. We expect to hear from the LS officals as soon as possible.
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Stuff Co New Zealand