Gunman streams New Zealand shootings, kills 49

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 15, 2019 - Duration: 01:56s

Gunman streams New Zealand shootings, kills 49

A gunman shot dead at least 49 people and wounded more than 40 at two New Zealand mosques, some as they were kneeling at prayer, livestreaming online some of the killings that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned as terrorism.

Mia Womersley reports

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Gunman streams New Zealand shootings, kills 49

Dozens of worshippers have been gunned down during Friday (March 15) prayers in New Zealand.

Scores were shot dead in the city of Christchurch as at least one gunman stormed into two mosques and fired at random.

It's thought to be the country's worst ever mass shooting.

Hospitals said children were among the victims. Officials are calling it an act of terrorism.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER JACINDA ARDERN, SAYING: "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." A gunman broadcast live footage of the attack online.

Police say IEDs - Improvised Explosive Devices - were found in a vehicle.

It was not immediately clear if the assaults on the two mosques were carried out by the same man.

Three suspects are in custody, police said - none were on a security watch list.

One, a man in his late twenties - has been charged with murder.

He'll appear in court on Saturday (March 16).

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said one of the men in custody was Australian.

U.S. President Donald Trump condemned the "horrible massacre" in a Tweet.

Those thoughts echoed by National Security Adviser, John Bolton: (SOUNDBITE) (English) NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JOHN BOLTON SAYING: "We're obviously greatly disturbed by this, what seems to be a terror attack, this hate crime in New Zealand." Britain's Queen said she was deeply saddened by the shootings.

All Blacks star Sonny Williams posted this video on Twitter.

The international rugby player converted to Islam in 2009 and is the first Muslim to play for the All Blacks.

Islamic leaders and institutions have condemned the killings, blaming a "spread of Islamophobia." Violent crime is rare in New Zealand.

Police don't normally carry guns.

Before Friday New Zealand's worst mass shooting was in 1990.

A gun-mad loner killed 13 men, women, and children in a 24-hour rampage in the tiny seaside village of Aramoana.

He was killed by police.

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