49 people have lost their lives and several injured after mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.
According to reports from international media outlets, one gunman identified as Australian extremist was live-streaming the killings, triggering the lock-down of the New Zealand city.
Eye witness accounts have revealed that most victims, who include women and children, were shot at a close range.
Following the incident, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, has linked the killings to a terrorist attack.
“It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, saying it marked “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.
“From what we know, it does appear to have been well planned,” she said.
The number of attackers was not immediately clear, but the prime minister confirmed that three men had been taken into custody following the incident.
The police said two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDS) were found and neutralized during the attack.
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Bangladesh cricket team – which had been in Christchurch for a test match against New Zealand – is said to have been caught up in the attack.
However, reports reveal that no player was injured.
“They are safe. But they are mentally shocked. We have asked the team to stay confined in the hotel,” one of the spokesperson told AFP.
Following the attack, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that Melbourne, one of Australia’s largest cities, will light up in the colors of New Zealand on Friday night to remember the people killed in the terrorist attack.
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