Mass shootings at New Zealand mosques kill 49; 1 man charged

Video and documents circulating online - but not officially confirmed - suggested the shooter had streamed his attack on Facebook Live. "Everybody just ran to the back doors to save themselves", one eye witness said. The white supremacist revealed he was inspired by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011.

Christchurch, a relatively small city in the south of New Zealand, hit global headlines in 2011 when it was struck by a deadly quake.

The man who claimed responsibility for the shooting said: "he came to New Zealand only to plan and train for the attack".

Swedish vlogger and YouTube star PewDiePie sought to distance himself from the New Zealand attacker on Friday, saying he was "sickened" at "having my name uttered by this person".

Journalist Chris Lynch, a radio host on New Zealand station ZB Radio, told CNN that one of the shootings had occurred at "the biggest mosque in all of Christchurch".

Just 1% of New Zealand's population of nearly five million are Muslim, according to government statistics, less than 50,000 people in 2013.

Tarrant's relatives in the Australian town of Grafton, in New South Wales, contacted police after learning of the shooting and were helping with the investigation, local authorities said. The gunman spends more than two minutes inside the mosque spraying terrified worshippers with bullets again and again, sometimes re-firing at people he has already cut down.

The horrified YouTuber said on Twitter this morning that he had "just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch".

Source Astro Awani

The two mosques are about five kilometres apart. "I saw lots of broken glass and bricks on the backside of the mosque", he said.

Two IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were also found and neutralised by the military, police said.

Immigrants "have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home", Ardern said. The connection to PewDiePie was viewed as part of that strategy by many. He said he was not a member of any organisation, but had donated to and interacted with many nationalist groups, though he acted alone and no group ordered the attack.

Home to almost 400,000 people, Christchurch is the largest city on New Zealand's South Island. Ardern, whose party campaigned on a promise to take in more refugees, called it "the right thing to do".

Christchurch, sometimes called the Garden City, has been rebuilding since an natural disaster in 2011 killed 185 people and destroyed many downtown buildings.

The second attack took place at the Linwood mosque about 5 kilometers (3 miles) away.

"We need to be blind in that regard - we need to absolutely focus on threat and ideology and extremism because obviously, that is what we have experienced today".



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