"Flag of New Zealand" by SKopp / CC BY-SA 3.0

49 killed in terrorist attack at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand

Mar 15, 2019

By Isaac Stanley-Becker, Eli Rosenberg, and Alex Horton

Forty-nine people are dead and scores more are injured after a heavily armed gunman clad in military-style gear opened fire during prayers at a mosque in the center of Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday. A second mosque was also targeted in what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called a well-planned “terrorist attack,” making for “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

Portions of the ghastly attack were broadcast live on social media by a man who police confirmed had also released a manifesto railing against Muslims and immigrants. The 74-page document states that he was following the example of notorious right-wing extremists, including Dylann Roof, who murdered nine black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., in 2015.

Authorities said initially they had four people in custody but later revised that number to three. One man in his late 20s, whom the authorities declined to name, was charged with murder and was expected to appear in court on Saturday morning. It was not clear how the other two people were connected. None of them had not been on security watch lists, officials said.

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