A gunman opened fire at a mosque in New Zealand killing 40 people, while live streaming the brutal attack. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden confirmed 48 people were being treated for gunshot wounds following the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch. She said: “This can only be described as a terrorist attack. While we do not have anything to believe at this stage that there were any other suspects, we are not assuming that at this stage.”
In the footage, police were seen cordoning off an area after the attack.
The gunman live-streamed the mass shooting which took place at about 1.40pm local time (12.40am GMT), and police urged people in the area to stay indoors.
The Prime Minister confirmed that the offender was in custody. She said: “I can give that assurance, he has been apprehended. He is also accompanied by two other associates.”
Ms Arden added: “We have undoubtedly experienced an attack today that is unprecedented, unlike anything that we have experienced before.
“But, as I say, New Zealand has been chosen because we are not a place where violent extremism exists.
“We reject those notions and we must continue to reject them. This is not an enclave for that kind of behaviour, for that kind of ideology.
“We will and must reject it. This is a place where people should feel secure and will feel secure.
“I am not going to let this change New Zealand’s profile, none of us should.”
Asked about the ages of victims, she said: “I will have been amongst other members of the public who will have seen the footage as the injured were being brought to Christchurch A&E and you certainly can see from that footage there is a real range of ages there.
“I imagine that these would have represented particular brothers, fathers, sons.”
Ms Ardern said New Zealand had been placed on its highest security threat level. She said four people in police custody held extremist views.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the UK “stands with” New Zealand after multiple people were killed in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch.
He tweeted: “Our hearts go out to the people of New Zealand following the news of this terrible act in Christchurch.
“NZ is one of the most peaceful, peace-loving and generous nations in the world. Your friends in the UK stand with you today in deepest sympathy.”