About 49 persons have been killed and more than 20 seriously injured in shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, the police says.
Station Magazine understands that the police in a press conference believe that at least one shooter had opened fire on those in the mosque.
The incident has been confirmed as the country’s worst mass shooting and has been condemned throughout the Middle East
According to an eye witness, a white man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit and carrying an automatic rifle had started shooting people at random in the Al Noor mosque. Some have described horrific scenes, with the shooting carrying on for several minutes and people being shot outside as well as inside the mosque.
“I did not see who was shooting but I saw that some people were running out through my room where I was in and also I saw some people had blood on their body and some people were limping. At that moment I realised it was really serious,” said one survivor, Mohamed Nazir.
“This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days. Clearly what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“There is no place in New Zealand for such extreme acts,” she said, describing it as a terrorist attack.
Some 48 people, including children, are being treated at Christchurch hospital, New Zealand health authorities have said. Wounds range from minor to critical, they said.
Police say a man in his late twenties has been charged with murder. They have added that they are not looking for further suspects.