Christchurch mosque massacre, 49 confirmed dead
At least 49 people were killed and 20 seriously injured in mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch Friday, in a carefully planned and unprecedented atrocity that shocked the usually peaceful nation.
The attack was unleashed at lunchtime local time Friday, when mosques were full of worshippers. Footage of the massacre was streamed live online, and a rambling manifesto laced with white supremacist references was published just before the shootings unfolded.
Nour Tavis said he was in the front row of the Al Noor Mosque in Deans Ave with his friend when the shooting started. At first they did not know what the noise was.
"Then we heard screaming ... everyone panicked," he said. "There was shooting and shooting and shooting ... people were running and all of a sudden you saw them fall."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the horror as a terrorist attack, saying it was perpetrated by suspects with "extremist views" that had no place in her country or the wider world. It was one of the New Zealand's "darkest days," she said in a press conference Friday.
Authorities said that every law enforcement resource in the country was mobilized after the attack.
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