:Dead in attack on mosques in New Zealand – found bombs
There have been several deaths in an armed attack on mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. The police confirmed this on Friday, without giving precise numbers. She spoke of a “significant number” of casualties.
According to eyewitness reports, a man had first shot at a downtown mosque where hundreds of Muslims gathered for Friday prayers. Later, shots were fired in another mosque. The situation was still unclear hours after the first shots.
Media report nine dead
New Zealand media reported at least nine deaths and dozens of injuries. A newspaper already speaks of 27 dead.
Police spokesman Mike Bush said that four suspects have been arrested. It is about three men and one woman, Bush said on Friday. On the vehicles of the attackers explosives had been found that had been defused by the army.
According to eyewitness reports, the first shots were fired at 1:45 pm local time (1:45 am CET). There were more than 300 faithful in the mosque. According to witnesses, the culprit is a white man wearing a helmet and bulletproof vest. With his automatic weapon, he is said to have repeatedly fired into the crowd.
Video messages of the alleged perpetrator
There is a video circulating on the Internet and various messages allegedly from the perpetrator. At first, it was not possible to reliably verify this. However, some videos clearly show the driveway, fence and trees of a mosque in Christchurch. According to other reports, the man is said to have transmitted the attack from the first person perspective using a helmet camera live.
In one of the videos you can see a man in a car driving to the mosque. He is equipped with a heavy waistcoat and several weapons. On the weapons and magazines in the footwell and the passenger seat of the car are messages.
Whether the offender actually recorded the video before the attack is not yet clear. According to “CNN” Facebook has already deleted some videos that are supposed to show the attack on its platform. The New Zealand police have also called for the videos not to spread.
Prime Minister condemns attack sharply
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern strongly condemned the attack. In a brief statement, the Social Democratic politician spoke of one of the “darkest days” in the history of her country.
For such a thing there is “no place in New Zealand”. At the same time she expressed her condolences to the families of the victims. “New Zealand is their home. They should have felt safe here. “
The situation was unclear even after hours. Police spokesman Bush spoke of a “very serious and tragic series of events” in a video message circulated on social networks. At the same time, he appealed to all Muslims in New Zealand to stay at home. “Under no circumstances should anyone in the country go to a mosque now.”
The city sealed off because of the unclear situation of all state buildings. In addition to schools, the city hall, the municipal library and museums were closed. Mayor Lianne Dalziel appealed to the residents to avoid the city center. She said, “Everyone is shocked. I never thought that this could happen here. “(Dpa)