Many of us awoke to the grim news that multiple innocent lives were claimed in a shocking spate of shooting incidents at 2 mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday (15 Mar).
Victims were allegedly in the midst of afternoon prayers when when an active shooter stormed the mosque and opened fire at 1.45pm on around 400 worshippers.
A Malaysian is among the injured. Here’s what else we know so far:
The dramatic confrontations that unfolded at 2 mosques located at Deans Avenue and Linford Avenue in Christchurch, have resulted in “significant” and “multiple fatalities”, confirmed NZ Police Commissioner Mike Bush via Channel NewsAsia.
A country-wide directive has been issued, for all mosques to “shut their doors”. All Muslims and visitors alike, are advised not to visit mosques “anywhere in New Zealand”, reminded the commissioner.
Police are no longer seeking “anyone else in connection with the attacks”, confirmed the commissioner in an urgent press conference.
New Zealand police now have in their possession, several IEDs – improvised explosive devices – and 4 suspects detained for their role in the shootings.
Of the four “in custody”, there are 3 males and 1 female. A man in his “late 20s” will appear in court on 16 Mar, after being charged with murder.
Police are investigating 2 people who were found in possession of guns at the scene. The fourth suspect arrested may “have had nothing to do with the attack”.
Currently, the confiscated IEDs have already been disarmed and “made safe” with the help of the military. The IEDs were originally attached to vehicles at the scene, reports The Guardian.
One of two mosques involved has been identified as Masjid al Noor at Deans Avenue, which was hosting a cricket team from Bangladesh.
The Guardian cites local reports estimating that “fatalities are between 9 and 30, with 40 people injured”.
It is important to note that as this is an ongoing investigation, police haven’t confirmed an official casualty count.
However, one Malaysian is among the injured, confirmed a tweet from Malaysia’s High Commission based in New Zealand, reports Channel NewsAsia. Thankfully, he or she is receiving treatment at the hospital.
The severity of this horrific attack in peacetime, and the loss of innocent lives, has sent shockwaves throughout Muslim communities around the world.
As Singapore is an inclusive country that promotes harmony between races – regardless of language or religion – we do not condone senseless acts of violence that target religious minorities.
Most of all, we hope that justice will be meted out swiftly to the perpetrators.
MS News extends our condolences to the loved ones of the victims, and Singapore stands in solidarity with New Zealand in this difficult time.
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