Updates – 49 confirmed dead in Christchurch terrorist attacks

49 people have been confirmed dead as a result of two near simultaneous terrorist attacks on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday. One Australian man has been arrested and charged with murder.  Another  man and a woman have also been apprehended. A fourth man was arrested but that was not related to the mosque massacres. Parts of a street in Dunedin has cordon off in a related investigation. Mosques around New Zealand are under police protection.

Military style rifles were used in the attacks, and two bombs were found on the vehicle of one of those who was apprehended.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush put out a number of updates on what had happened. Here is the latest from late last night.

Police continue to deal with what is an unprecedented event for New Zealand. The loss of life and the number of those who have been injured is tragic.

As the Prime Minister has stated, this has been designated a terrorist attack.

This has been an abhorrent event and my thoughts are with all of those affected in Christchurch. Be assured NZ Police stand with you all tonight.

We now know that 49 people have been killed in the attacks, 41 people at the Deans Avenue mosque, and seven at the Linwood Avenue mosque. One person died in hospital.

The number of those being treated in hospital has been updated to 48 people.

A 28-year-old man has been charged with murder and is due to appear in the Christchurch District Court tomorrow morning.

Two others remain in custody. Another person was arrested earlier today however that was not related to these events.

This is still an ongoing situation and Police has a significant number of staff on the ground in Christchurch

We are unable at this stage to provide details about matters leading up to the attacks. It is very early days and these matters will form part of the investigation.

There is an increased Police presence across Christchurch and surrounding areas. Our priority is to keep all New Zealanders safe.

There are community events planned across the country this weekend and there will be a visible Police presence at these events for safety and reassurance.

We thank the public for their ongoing co-operation and we would like to reassure members of the public that a large Police presence will remain in the city for the time being. The safety of the community is our priority.

Police wish to notify the public of the Restoring Family Links (RFL) website(link is external) where people can register missing persons or register themselves as alive. People living in New Zealand can also register missing persons on 0800 115 019.

Information will continue to be provided as it becomes available.

Our thoughts remain with all of those affected.

And:

Police are currently in attendance at a property on Somerville Street, Dunedin. This is a location of interest in relation to the serious firearms incident in Christchurch today.

Evacuations of properties in the immediate area have taken place as a precaution.

Alternative accommodation has been provided for residents requiring it and cordons are in place in the Somerville Street and Everton Road area.

There is no further information available at this time.

From the police page on Facebook:

Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online. We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.

I don’t want any of this footage or links to the footage on Your NZ. One aim of the killings was to attract media attention and pub


Saturday morning: Update 9

We are continuing to make enquiries after yesterday’s tragic events in Christchurch.

As the Prime Minister stated yesterday, this has been designated a terrorist attack.

49 people have died and 42 are being treated for injuries. Two of those injured are critical and this includes a four-year-old child who is being transported to Starship Hospital this morning.

A 28-year-old man will appear in Christchurch District Court today charged with murder.

Two others remain in custody.

Our investigations are in their early stages and we will be looking closely to build a picture of any of the individuals involved and all of their activities prior to this horrific event.

There is no guarantee the risk is limited to Canterbury and we need all New Zealanders to be extra vigilant.

Our message to you is simple: if you see something suspicious, say something – call 111 immediately.

Police is aware there are distressing materials related to this event circulating widely online. We would urge anyone who has been affected by seeing these materials to seek appropriate support.

We would also like to remind the public that it is an offence to distribute an objectionable publication and that is punishable by imprisonment.

Once again I want to reassure the public that a large Police presence remains in the city for the time being.

There will be a heightened Police presence at community events today for safety and reassurance.

Dozens of officers continue to be deployed into the region today, and Police’s Eagle helicopter has flown to Christchurch to assist those on the ground.

Police and the wider government will be working with leaders and members of the Islamic Community to provide assistance, reassurance and support.

Deputy Commissioner of Māori and Ethnic Services Wally Haumaha has travelled to Christchurch alongside 15 ethnic liaison officers to support the community.

These specialists will work alongside local staff to support the families and help repatriate them with their loved ones in a way that is consistent with Muslim beliefs, while taking into account these circumstances and obligations to the coroner.

I also plan to fly to Christchurch this morning, and will be speaking to media at the earliest opportunity. More detail on that will be advised in due course.

Again I want to offer my sincere condolences to those affected, on behalf of New Zealand Police.

Presuming more updates are released they will be added to this post today.

From Update 11:

The 28-year-old man charged with murder in relation to this attack has appeared in Christchurch District Court this morning.

While the man is currently facing only one charge, further charges will be laid. Details of those charges will be communicated at the earliest possible opportunity.

 

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13 Comments

  1. duperez

     /  16th March 2019

    Queensland Senator Fraser Anning. has claimed the real cause of the bloodshed that’s left at least 49 people dead is New Zealand’s immigration policy.

    He said, “The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.”

    I have mailed him to tell him that the real cause of bloodshed on our streets was that our immigration program allowed an Australian to migrate to New Zealand.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12213197

    I did not call him a fuckwit. It is likely that while he doesn’t know that he is, to anyone with a modicum of intelligence and reason it is obvious that he is.

    Reply
    • Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  16th March 2019

      Good for you, Duperez…and congratulations on your restraint.

      Reply
  2. artcroft

     /  16th March 2019

    It’s impossible to comprehend. 49 dead. In New Zealand. That such hatred exists here; impossible surely. As Jacinda said it’s inimical to who we are. The level of grief cast by this event can’t be imagined either. Such a terrible day.

    Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  16th March 2019

      “That such hatred exists here”

      You only have to visit some of the right leaning blogs to see that it does, hopefully only in a small minority.

      Reply
  3. Reply
    • A very stupid response in number of ways.

      Reply
  4. Quite a way from where I live but somewhere I’m familiar with. Somerville Street is in Andersons Bay, with the Every Street of Bain infamy running off it.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  16th March 2019

      Police now saying both mosques were attacked by the one man. Not clear what roles the accomplices played.

      Reply
  5. High Flying Duck

     /  16th March 2019

    Paul Buchannan used to be a respected voice in matters security.
    His credibility has been destroyed with his unequivocably confident and yet incorrect pronouncements about the killer and Christchurch’s role in the saga.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  16th March 2019

      He was on again tonight, saying that we have white supremacists here (no, really ?)

      Reply

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