Christchurch mosque shooting: 3 people, including an Australian national, have been detained
Christchurch: Forty-nine people died and at least 20 were injured in a terror attack in New Zealand's Christchurch during Friday prayers today. Three persons have been arrested. One of them, an Australian national in his late 20s, has been accused of murder and will be presented in court tomorrow. The police said the attacks were racially motivated. Nine Indians are missing, the Indian High Commission in New Zealand has said. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today was one of the "darkest days".
Following are 10 points about the Christchurch mosque shootings:
- 41 people were shot dead at the Al Noor mosque and seven at a mosque in the Linwood area. One person died in the hospital. An eyewitness described the attacker as a white, blonde man, who was wearing a helmet and a bulletproof vest, reported news agency Reuters.
- The attack was also a close call for 17 members of Bangladesh's cricket team, which is in New Zealand for a Test series. As the cricket team was about to enter the Al Noor mosque, the shooting began. They were whisked away in time but are in shock, their support staff said. The test match between New Zealand and Bangladesh has that was to begin tomorrow has been postponed.
- One of the attacks was live-streamed by the gunman on Facebook, the camera apparently mounted on his helmet. The unverified footage shows him shooting a man from outside the mosque, then going systematically from room to room. shooting people from close range.
- He first fires eight shots with a shotgun and then switches to a semi-automatic rifle, shows the unverified video that is being widely circulated on social media. The attacker then returned to the car to change guns, and went back to the mosque again to shoot anyone showing signs of life, the video showed.
- The New Zealand police have requested people not to circulate the video, saying it is "extremely distressing". Two Improvised Explosive devices were recovered from one of the cars used by the attackers.
- At the smaller mosque at the Linwood area, eyewitness Faisal Sayed told NDTV how the attacker was disarmed. "I witnessed this gentleman who went behind the shooter and held him, making him drop the gun. The shooter then rushed for the door. If that hadn't happened, many more would have died and I wouldn't be here now," he said.
- Nine Indians have gone missing, the Indian High Commission in New Zealand said. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said two Indians are dead and one is battling for life. He has asked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to help the family.
- Just before the attack, an anonymous post on the discussion site 8chan, known for a wide range of content including hate speech, said the writer was going to "carry out an attack against the invaders" and included links to a Facebook live stream, in which the shooting appeared, and a manifesto, Reuters said.
- The manifesto cited "white genocide" -- a term used for racist groups for propaganda purposes -- as his motivation. White genocide theory maintains that immigration and the growth of minority populations is killing the white population.
- Security has been stepped up in mosques across several European cities, including London following the Christchurch attacks. In New Zealand, the police have forbidden everyone from going to mosques.
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