At least 49 people have been killed and 20 seriously injured after gunmen opened fire in two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch Friday, a coordinated and unprecedented attack that has shocked the usually peaceful nation.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the incident a terrorist attack in a Friday press conference, saying the suspects held “extremist views” that have no place in New Zealand or the world. Forty-one people were killed at the al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue, New Zealand’s Police Commissioner Mike Bush said Friday evening local time. Seven people died at the Linwood mosque on Linwood Avenue, and one person died from their injuries in hospital.
Both mosques are in Christchurch’s city centre and police have placed the two locations on lockdown. A total of 48 patients, including young children with gunshot wounds, have been admitted to Christchurch hospital for treatment.
New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said four people have been taken into custody — three men and one woman. Police do not believe there are any other suspects but said it was still an open investigation.