Bhubaneswar: A gunman in Christchurch opened fired using an automatic weapon during Friday prayers at a mosque in New Zealand. The number of dead is over 40, said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern while terming it as a hate crime against Muslims.
She described this as one of New Zealand’s darkest days and stated that those attacked may be migrants or refugees in the country. “They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. They are us,” she added.
The city has been locked down and a massive manhunt operation is underway for the shooter, who has been identified as an Australian citizen. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the same and described him as an “extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist”.
Reports also suggest that there were multiple attacks at two mosques, but it is now unclear how many were killed.
The gunman apparently live-streamed the attack on social media.
The Bangladesh cricket team who were about to reach the mosque for Friday prayers escaped the shooting by a whisker.
Muslims account for just over 1 per cent of New Zealand’s population, according to a 2013 census.