New Zealand Christchurch terror attack LIVE updates: Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Hagia Sophia in Turkey’s capital today condemning the attack on mosques in Christchurch, reported The Associated Press. The gunman, who has been identified as Brenton Harrison Tarrant, in his 74-page ‘manifesto’ had taunted saying ‘Hagia Sophia will free of minarets’.
After Friday’s attack at mosques in New Zealand, the long-standing demand of Islamic civil society groups in Turkey to reconvert the structure to a mosque has gathered momentum.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed to reform the country’s gun laws after the attack that killed 49 people. She said, “He had chosen and legally purchased firearms in the country ‘for the affect it would have on social discourse, the extra media coverage they would provide and the affect it could have on the politics of United States and thereby the political situation of the world.’ Tarrant was charged with one count of murder on Saturday.
The New Zealand police said that they have apprehended four people — three men and one woman — in connection with the attack. One of the accused is an Australian national.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday wrote to his New Zealand counterpart expressing his deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the victims. Stressing that India strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, PM Modi said, “Hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies.” He was among a host of world leaders, including US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May, to express their condolences.
LIVE UPDATES: A terrorist attack in New Zealand has left 49 people dead. The mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch also wounded at least 48. Read the latest news in Malayalam | Bangla | Tamil
Christchurch attack: Day after mosque shooting, Hyderabad man succumbs to injuries
Farhaj Ahsan, who was reported missing after the deadly Christchurch terror attack, succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment. With this, the number of Indians killed in the attack has increased to two. Mohammed Juned Kara (34) from Navsari in Gujarat was the first victim of the attack.
Earlier in the day, the Indian envoy in New Zealand Sanjiv Kohli said he was in constant touch with local authorities to get more information on the number of Indians missing.
Read more here
Protesters gather in Turkey after Christchurch shooting
A few hundred demonstrators have protested the Christchurch mosque shootings outside Istanbul's Hagia Sophia — a Byzantine-era cathedral that was turned into a mosque and now serves as a museum. The demonstrators — mostly members of Islamic civil society groups — on Saturday called for the symbolic edifice to be reconverted into a mosque. The demand was in response to a taunt by the gunman in Friday's shooting rampage in a 74-page manifesto in which he reportedly said ``Hagia Sophia will free of minarets.'' (AP)
Australian senator faces censure for anti-immigration stance
Sen. Fraser Anning came under blistering criticism over tweets on Friday. He had a raw egg cracked over his head and faces censure from his fellow lawmakers after sparking outrage by blaming Muslim immigration for the New Zealand mosque shootings. Police said the boy was arrested but was released without charge pending a further investigation.
Read more here
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted her condolences on the Christchurch shooting
The horrific terrorist act in New Zealand should be a warning to the whole world: hatred is NEVER benign.— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) March 16, 2019
My heart goes out to the victims and their families, may love and support from the millions who are repelled by this crime sustain them and give them courage.
People on Twitter share everyday stories from their mosques and it’s beautiful
In one of the deadliest mass shootings in New Zealand at least 49 people were killed and 40 others injured, when a gunman open fired in two mosques full of worshippers in Christchurch on Friday. Amid the gloom, Twitter users are sharing little mundane details from their visit to mosques and its beautiful.
It all started when video game developer Rami Ismail tweeted a challenge to Muslims, writing, “Hey Muslims, tell me something painfully mundane and common at your mosque, whether you visit it five times a day or one time a year.”
Read more here
Egypt confirms four nationals killed in Christchurch mosque shooting
Egypt says four Egyptians were among those killed in the New Zealand mosque shootings. The emigration ministry said Saturday that authorities in New Zealand have confirmed the deaths of the four Egyptians, including two 68-year-olds. The ages of the other two victims were not given. A total of 49 people were killed in the mass shootings Friday at two mosques in Christchurch. (AP)
Pursuing information on missing Indians: Sanjiv Kohli, India's High Commissioner in NZ
India's High Commissioner in New Zealand Sanjiv Kohli wrote on Twitter: " Have been pursuing information on the whereabouts of nine persons from NZ authorities, these included 7 Indian nationals and 2 PIOs. Two Indian nationals are receiving treatment. Following up with NZ govt on the status of others. Also in regular touch with their families."
Christchurch shooting: When gunman advanced on NZ mosque, one man ran at him
Abdul Aziz, 48, is being hailed as a hero for preventing more deaths during Friday prayers at the Linwood mosque in Christchurch after leading the gunman in a cat-and-mouse chase before scaring him into speeding away in his car. But Aziz, whose four sons and dozens of others remained in the mosque while he faced off with the gunman, said he thinks it's what anyone would have done.
The gunman killed 49 people after attacking two mosques in the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand's modern history. The gunman is believed to have killed 41 people at the Al Noor mosque before driving about 5 kilometers (3 miles) across town and attacking the Linwood mosque, where he killed seven more people. One person died later in a hospital.
Read more here
I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change: PM Jacinda Ardern
PM Ardern said Brenton Tarrant was a licensed gun owner who allegedly used five weapons, including two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns, which had been modified. "I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change," Ardern told reporters, saying a ban on semi-automatic weapons would be considered.
According to media reports which quoted club members saying Tarrant often practiced shooting an AR-15, which is a lightweight semi-automatic rifle. The AR-15 is a semi-automatic version of the United States military M16 rifle. The minimum legal age to own a gun in New Zealand is 16, or 18 for military-style semi-automatic weapons. The AR-15 was used at Port Arthur, as well as a number of high-profile mass shootings in the United States.
New Zealand has in the past tried to tighten firearm laws, but a strong gun lobby and culture of hunting has stymied such efforts. There are an estimated 1.5 million firearms in New Zealand, which has a population of only five million, but the country has had low levels of gun violence. (Reuters)
I convey message of love, support on behalf of New Zealand to all of you: PM Ardern
"I convey the message of love and support on behalf of New Zealand to all of you,” said Ardern. She was wearing a black scarf over her head, she hugged members of the Muslim community at a Christchurch refugee centre, saying she would ensure freedom on religion in New Zealand.
Jordan reports new death in New Zealand attack
The number of Jordanians killed in the New Zealand mosque shootings has risen to three after a wounded man died of his injuries. Jordan's Foreign Ministry announced the death Saturday. The ministry said a Jordanian diplomat is on his way to New Zealand to coordinate with local authorities. In the immediate aftermath of Friday's attack on two Christchurch mosques, the Foreign Ministry had announced that two Jordanians were among the 49 people killed, and that eight Jordanians had been wounded. Jordan has not released the names of Jordanian victims of the attack. — AP
Day after terror attack, New Zealand comes together to condemn hate
A day after the most deadliest terror attack in New Zealand, the country came together Saturday to pay their respects to the victims of the mosque attacks.
New Zealand: Hawke Bay lockdown lifted, police says no threat to staff, public
A brief lockdown was imposed on the Hawke Bay hospital over a security scare. However, it's been established that there is no threat. The police, in a statement, said: "Following extensive enquiries at the hospital and in the surrounding areas, it has been determined there is no threat to hospital staff or the public." Security has been beefed up across New Zealand after the Christchurch shooting on Friday, which left 49 people dead.
Australia beefs up security after New Zealand terrorist attack
Security has been heightened in Australia after the New Zealand attack. "You will see a lot more police out and about this weekend," Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Wendy Steendam was quoted as saying by Reuters. A spokesperson of the NSW Police, meanwhile, said: “Police have increased patrols and senior officers have also reached out to community and religious leaders across the state to provide support and reassurance."
Christchurch mosque shooting: Handcuffed, barefoot, main suspect smirks in court; next hearing on April 5
The main suspect in mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques was charged with one count of murder a day after an attack that killed 49 people and wounded dozens, prompting the prime minister to vow reform of the country's gun laws. Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian citizen, appeared in a Christchurch District Court on Saturday and was remanded without a plea until his next scheduled appearance in the South Island city's High Court on April 5. Handcuffed and wearing a white prison suit, Tarrant did not speak. His court-appointed lawyer made no application for bail or name suppression. He also apparently smirked at photographers, reported New Zealand Herald. Read More
Day after New Zealand terrorist attack, Super Rugby match cancelled
A rugby match, which was scheduled to be played between the Otago Highlanders and Canterbury Crusaders in Dunedin, 360 kilometres from Christchurch, has been cancelled as a mark of respect to the victims. "Advice from police and venue management was that the fixture could go ahead, however, with strong agreement from both teams we have made the final call not to proceed as a mark of respect for the events that have occurred in Christchurch," New Zealand Rugby's Nigel Cass said in a statement.
New Zealand hospital in lockdown over security threat
A day after the terrorist attack in Christchurch, the New Zealand police have said that the Hawke's Bay hospital is under lockdown due to a security threat. No more details are available at this moment.
One Indian killed in New Zealand Christchurch terrorist attack
Mohammed Juned Kara (34) from Navsari in Gujarat was killed in the Christchurch terrorist attack in New Zealand on Friday. At least two more are injured, while six have been reported missing since the attack. The Indian High Commission in New Zealand said there were nine “missing persons of Indian nationality/origin". Official confirmation is awaited. MEA Sushma Swaraj tweeted helpline numbers (021803899/021850033) this morning for Indians in New Zealand.
Express Editorial: New Zealand shooting intended to polarise communities everywhere
Mass shootings have in the past been intended to draw attention to a “cause”, but the attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, seemed differently focused. He explicitly discounted gaming as his inspiration, but he used every trick in the social media marketing box to push out his message. And indeed, the video and “manifesto” moved faster than the internet’s gatekeepers possibly could, and has been shared on an unprecedented scale. In the case of this murder made for social media, they will keep the horrific story in circulation and ensure that it travels widely, seeking new audiences. Read The Indian Express' editorial 'Terror, live'.
New Zealand Christchurch mosque attack: Terrorist fed on online hate
From the shooter’s social media accounts and his 74-page manifesto published online before the attack, it appears that he was inspired by extreme right-wing ideologies that thrive on the Internet. He wanted to target immigrants for allegedly invading his soil and, like Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, he wrote a manifesto citing right wing personalities and military battles glorified by white nationalists.
This image taken from the alleged shooter’s video, which was filmed Friday, shows him as he drives and he looks over to three guns on the passenger side of his vehicle in New Zealand. (Photo via AP)
New Zealand gunman's manifesto talks about an “invasion” from India
In the 74-page manifesto he left behind after gunning down 49 people, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant talks about an “invasion” from India, along with China and Turkey, and defines the three countries as “potential nation enemies in the East”.
The manifesto, titled “The Great Replacement”, also stated that “the invaders must be removed from European soil, regardless from where they came or when they came. Roma, African, Indian, Turkish, Semitic or other. If they are not of our people, but live in our lands, they must be removed.”
New Zealand government decides to change gun laws
In the aftermath of attacks on a mosque in New Zealand's Christchurch, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated that country’s “gun laws will change”, The Guardian reported.
The report also mentioned that the New Zealand PM announced that mental health facilities will be provided and has invited anyone who needs help to call or text 1737.
Terrorism in any form must be defeated, says Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said 'terrorism in any form must be defeated.' "Terrorism in any form must be defeated. Humanity is about spreading peace and harmony. Strongly condemn the dastardly terror attack in New Zealand. Condolences to the grieving families and strength to the injured to recover," she tweeted.
Terrorism in any form must be defeated. Humanity is about spreading peace and harmony. Strongly condemn the dastardly terror attack in New Zealand. Condolences to the grieving families and strength to the injured to recover— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) March 15, 2019
Stand united against anti-Muslim hatred: UN chief
I’m saddened & strongly condemn the shooting of innocent people as they prayed peacefully in mosques in New Zealand. I express my deepest condolences to the victims’ families. Today and every day, we must stand united against anti-Muslim hatred, & all forms of bigotry & terror.— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 15, 2019
Sushma Swaraj condemns Christchurch shooting
MEA chief Sushma Swaraj also condemned the deadly attack. She tweeted, "We strongly condemn the dastardly terrorist attacks at the places of worship in Christchurch. Our heartfelt condolences to those who lost their loved ones. Our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families." "In this moment of grief, India stands in solidarity with the people and Government of New Zealand," she added.
In this moment of grief, India stands in solidarity with the people and Government of New Zealand @winstonpeters /2— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 15, 2019
Owaisi thanks Sushma Swaraj, says in constant touch with MEA to expedite visa process
Owaisi on Twitter, shared that he was apprised of the latest situation by the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and thanking her, said that he was in constant touch with the Ministry to help expedite the visa process for the families of the missing Indians.
UPDATE: I’d like to thank @SushmaSwaraj for personally updating me about MEA’s efforts in assisting Ahmed’s & Ahsan’s families reach NZ in time— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) March 15, 2019
We are in touch with @MEAIndiaMEA & they have assured us that they’re making all efforts to get the visa process expedited https://t.co/pJ2O8a4BgL
Turkey President Erdogan condemns the terror attack, says it illustrates the growing hostility towards Islam
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday condemned the deadly attack on two mosques in New Zealand, saying it illustrated the growing hostility towards Islam "idly" watched by the world. The attacks on the Christchurch mosques left at least 49 dead, with one gunman -- identified as an Australian extremist -- apparently live streaming the assault and publishing a manifesto online. "With this attack, hostility towards Islam, that the world has been idly watching and even encouraging for some time, has gone beyond individual harassment to reach the level of mass killing," Erdogan said at the funeral of a former Turkish minister. (AFP)
Rahul Gandhi calls New Zealand shooting 'despicable act of terrorism'
The #NewZealandShooting is a despicable act of terrorism, that must be condemned unequivocally. The world stands in need of compassion & understanding. Not bigotry & hate filled extremism. My condolences to the families of the victims. My prayers go out to those who were injured.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 15, 2019
A look at attacks on houses of worship over last decade
Houses of worship around the world, a place of reflection and peace, have been targeted for attack by extremists.
Jan. 27, 2019: Two suicide attackers detonate two bombs during a Mass in a Roman Catholic cathedral on the largely Muslim island of Jolo in the southern Philippines, killing 23 and wounding about 100 others. Three days later, an attacker hurls a grenade in a mosque in nearby Zamboanga city, killing two religious teachers.
March 15, 2019: At least 40 people are killed in an attack at mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. Read more
9 Indian-Origin people missing after mosque shootings: Indian Envoy to New Zealand
According to the Indian Envoy to New Zealand, nine Indian-origin people are missing after the mosque shootings. However, official confirmation is still awaited.
Hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies: PM Modi writes to New Zealand PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack and expressed grief over the loss of lives. In a letter addressed to the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, he offered heartfelt prayers for those injured and underscored India's solidarity with the country in the difficult times. He further also stressed on India's condemnation of terrorism in all forms and manifestations, censuring those who support such acts of violence and said, "Hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies."
Owaisi says Hyderabad native injured in Christchurch attack, seeks MEA assistance
AIMIM Chief and Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi said an Indian national has been missing since the attacks at the mosques in Christchurch. Requesting immediate assistance from Sushma Swaraj and the Ministry of External Affairs, Owaisi shared the details of the man and his family on Twitter.
A video from #ChristChurch shows one Ahmed Jehangir who was shot. His brother Iqbal Jehangir is a resident of Hyderabad & would like to go to NZ for Ahmed’s family.— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) March 15, 2019
I request @KTRTRS @TelanganaCMO @MEAIndia @SushmaSwaraj to make necessary arrangements for the Khursheed family
'No one should have to fear for their life because of their religion': Bernie Sanders
Our thoughts are with the victims of the horrific attack in Christchurch, New Zealand. No one should have to fear for their life because of their religion. We must come together to condemn all forms of hate and violence to build a future of respect and understanding.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 15, 2019
US stands by New Zealand for anything we can do: Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump condoled the attack and calling it a 'horrible massacre', assured that US stood with New Zealand to help in anything that the country needs.
My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2019
Flights cancelled after New Zealand mosque shootings
National carrier Air New Zealand has canceled at least 17 flights in and out of Christchurch, saying it couldn't screen customers and their baggage following deadly shootings at two mosques. The airline said some smaller planes travelling on regional routes were canceled while larger jet planes would continue landing and taking off due to security screening processes already in place. Typically, passengers on smaller turboprop aircraft traveling to or from Christchurch don't go through security screening and are able to walk right onto the plane. (AP)
Virat Kohli expresses grief for today's attacks
Virat Kohli condemns today's attacks and said he wished for the safety of the Bangladesh cricket team which was in New Zealand when the incident happened.
Shocking and tragic. My heart goes out to the ones affected by this cowardly act at Christchurch. Thoughts with the Bangladesh team as well, stay safe. 🙏🏻— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) March 15, 2019
New Zealand police search a property which is believed to be a location of interest in relation to today's attacks
New Zealand Police are currently searching a Dunedin property that they believe is a location of interest in relation to today's attacks and have assured that evacuations of properties in the adjoining area has already taken place with alternative accomodation being provided.
1/2 Police are currently in attendance at a property on— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
Somerville Street, Dunedin. This is a location of interest in relation to the
serious firearms incident in Christchurch today.
Evacuations of properties in the immediate area have taken place
as a precaution.
2/2 Alternative accommodation has been provided for residents— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
requiring it and cordons are in place in the Somerville Street and Everton Road
There is no further information available at this time.
Christchurch Mayor condemns shooting, appeals to citizens to remain calm
Apprising citizens of the situation in Christchurch, Mayor Lianne Dalziel said that she was shocked by today's incident and claimed that she had details about the shooting. She has warned people from venturing out of their homes and assured that police was trying to do their best to get the situation under control. She also informed that schools and facilities were on a lockdown and appealed to citizens to remain calm.
London Mayor expresses condolence, assures safety for Muslims in the city
London Mayor expressed his condolence for the kin of those who were murdered in the attacks today, and assured that London would continue to celebrate the diversity of its population.
Heartbreaking news from New Zealand this morning where innocent people have been murdered because of their faith.— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) March 15, 2019
London stands with the people of Christchurch in the face of this horrific terror attack. London will always celebrate the diversity that some seek to destroy. pic.twitter.com/zYN874jYmw
France has beefed up security near religious spaces
French authorities have stepped up security measures near religious sites after deadly attacks against two mosques in New Zealand left 49 people dead, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on Friday. "Patrols will be held around religious sites," Castaner said on his official Twitter account. (Reuters)