"Multiple fatalities" after shootings occurred at a mosque at Deans Avenue and another mosque at Linwood Avenue with hundreds people inside in the city center of Christchurch, a coastal city of more than 400,000 residents in the New Zealand, during Friday prayers.
The shooting at the mosque on Deans Avenue was near to Cathedral Square, where children were taking part in a global protest to raise awareness for climate change. Gunmen opened fire 'for ten to 15 minutes." Multiple improved explosive devices were attached to vehicles as part of the attack. Police said that four people – three men and one woman - are in custody but authorities are unsure if there are any other suspects. At least one of the shooters is believed to be an Australian national. The death toll is considered significant but was not revealed.
"We are unsure if there are any other locations outside of that area that are under threat," they also said. There is a large police presence in the city. People were warned to stay off the streets and not to go to a mosque anywhere in New Zealand today. Christchurch has been put on lockdown with all schools and council buildings shut and roads closed across the city. New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern held a press conference speaking about "one of New Zealand's darkest days." In a social media post just before the attack, an account that is believed to belong to one of the attackers posted a link to an 87-page manifesto that was filled with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim ideas and explanations for an attack. A spokeswoman for Facebook New Zealand said videos which appeared to show the Christchurch shootings have been taken down.
At least 49 were killed in the attack.