New Zealand lives on Friday its “darkest day” after the attacks on two mosques in Chrischurch in which at least 49 people have died and for which a suspect has been accused, apparently a white supremacist of Australian origin.
“It is clear that this can only be described as a terrorist attack, as far as we know, it seems to have been well planned,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in an appearance broadcast live from Wellington, in which she has expressed ” the strongest possible condemnation against the ideology “of those responsible.
In the attacks, which took place in broad daylight and at a time when hundreds of Muslims were performing Friday prayers, 41 people died in the Al Noor Mosque, very close to the Botanical Garden, and another 7 in the Linwood mosque, about 6.5 kilometers east of the first.
Another person has died later in a hospital in the city where about 48 people are treated with bullet wounds, among them children.
The attack of Al Noor has been transmitted in video during 17 minutes by the attacker and in the images it is seen how the individual crosses the rooms of the mosque and shoots at point-blank range with semiautomatic weapons against helpless people.
“There was a bench, I put half of my body underneath and my legs were left out, I tried to make it look like I was not breathing and he changed the chargers seven times… He went to the different compartments and fired everywhere,” said Farid Ahmed to the press.”
The Bangladesh national cricket team has escaped unharmed in one of the two mosques because “the attack occurred before they reached the site,” said Nizamuddin Chowdhury, executive director of the Bangladesh Cricket Board. .
The assailant, who wore military clothing and posted a manifesto with derogatory labels against Muslims on social media, is believed to be Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian citizen from the town of Grafton.
But New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has refused to identify the attacker, saying he is “almost thirty years old and will appear in court tomorrow” to answer murder charges for each of the victims.
The authorities have not given information about the shooting in Linwood and even Bush, when asked if a person is responsible for the two attacks, simply said: “A person has been accused and it would not be appropriate to give details now.”
What has been confirmed is the detention of four armed persons, three of them allegedly linked to the attack, which includes the Australian, and another who was released. None of these people was on the New Zealand suspect list.
Police have found firearms in the mosques and two explosives in two vehicles linked to the attacks, one of which has been deactivated.
After the shootings, the peaceful city of Christchurch, which was devastated in 2011 by a powerful earthquake that killed 185 people, was temporarily placed under a confinement order, while the safety alert was raised from low to high throughout the country. country.
Now “there are no other threats since we responded to these incidents,” Bush said at night, referring to these attacks that are presumed to be motivated by white supremacist ideas. The chief executive said that her country was targeted because of its values of tolerance, multiculturalism and respect for others.
“We represent diversity and compassion, a home for those who share our values, a refuge for those who need it, and those values will not be defeated by these attacks, we are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities and 160 languages”, the president has emphasized.