Flags across the country are at half mast as New Zealand mourns the massacre of at least 49 people.
- There have been two attacks – at the Masjid Al Noor Mosque next to Hagley Park, and at the Linwood Masjid Mosque in the suburb of Linwood.
- Forty-nine people have died, police have confirmed. 41 at Deans Ave mosque and seven at the Linwood mosque. One person who had been injured has since died.
- A 28-year-old man has been charged with murder and is due to appear in the Christchurch District Court tomorrow morning.
- Three others are in custody, but one of these people is not thought to be connected to shootings. But police warn there could be more offenders. . .
Today’s tragic events in Christchurch have shocked all New Zealanders.
Our hearts go out to the people of Christchurch, especially the people directly affected by this afternoon’s terrible violence. Our thoughts are with them, their families and friends.
Now more than ever is the time to affirm the values that we hold dear – compassion, kindness and tolerance.
I have no doubt that all New Zealanders join with me in expressing their condolences and support.
New Zealand has long been regarded as one of the safest countries in the world.
Terrorism was, until yesterday, something that happened somewhere else.
Now it has happened in Christchurch, killing people peacefully at prayer, people to whom New Zealand was home, people who should have been safe here.
For the first time New Zealand’s terror alert is at high.
The earthquakes that rocked the city were acts of nature.
These killings were acts of evil that will leaves scars and change our country forever.