49 Muslims Killed In Terrorist Act During Prayer in New Zealand Mosque

Deep condolences to our Muslim brothers and sisters that have been shot dead and injured at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. Today, on March 15th, terrorists attacked Muslims during Friday prayers. 49 were killed and 20 are injured including, women and children.

The acts happened at Al Noor mosque on Dean’s Road and the Linwood Islamic Centre on Linwood Avenue. Although New Zealand is well-known for being a safe country, New Zealand’s threat level has been raised from low to high and it’s the worst attack in the Pacific country’s history.

Reporter Sam Clarke, from TVNZ, witnessed a gunman – dressed in black with a helmet carrying a machine gun – came into the back of the mosque of Masjid Al Noor and started firing into the people praying there. He added, “some worshipers managed to escape through windows and doors, but many people had been hit, some as young as 16″.

Police commissioner Mike Bush urged all mosques across the country to close their doors for the time being, as police uncovered multiple explosive devices attached to cars. So far, four people were taken into custody – three men and one woman – suspected as the attackers, later one was released.

One of the terrorists is believed to have livestreamed at least one of the attacks. Police have urged people not to share the “distressing” footage because it has been circulating online on social media. Facebook said it has been removed the footage.

The prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, condemned the ideology behind the attack and called it a terrorist attack and said it was “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”. Australian prime minister Scott Morrison called a “rightwing extremist attack” and said one suspect was Australian-born, while many western media call these acts as a mass shooting.

Earlier, Ardern spoke of the attacker’s motivation, saying the victims might include refugees and migrants. “They are us,” she said, before saying the perpetrator “has no place in New Zealand”. Islamophobia and racism are real. These acts were done in the name of hate.

Written by Adin Lubis

Adin is a master student of Journalism & Media in Europe at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She loves travelling, share her thoughts on her Instagram @adinlubiss, and vlogging on YouTube.