Culture&Arts

New Zealand PM Vows Reforms, Says Mosque Attacker Had Gun Licence

New Zealand PM Vows Reforms, Says Mosque Attacker Had Gun Licence

"The horrific active shooter scenario at a mosque is something we all pray never happens (but) there is no active intelligence that there is any immediate threat in the U.S. But we can not be complacent".

We were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism, because we are en enclave for extremism.

"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack", she said.

Ardern said New Zealand had been placed on its highest security threat level.

"So far", three Bangladeshis are among those killed and four or five others are among the wounded, including two left in critical condition, Bangladesh's honorary consul in Auckland, Shafiqur Rahman Bhuiyan, told The Associated Press. The gunman in question demonstrated ties to numerous extreme-right ideologies and individuals in his manifesto and livestream of the attack, during which he mentioned the YouTuber. Reuters was unable to confirm the authenticity of the footage.

The gunman targeted the men's prayer room in the mosque and then moved to the women's room.

Law enforcement officials in other cities across the country, including NY and Los Angeles, have also said they are increasing security forces at mosques in response to the shooting.

He said he and others escaped by breaking through a glass door.

The New Zealand attack was unleashed at lunchtime local time on Friday, when mosques were full of worshippers.

YouTube star Pewdiepie made an effort to distance himself from a perpetrator in the fatal Christchurch, New Zealand mosque shootings after the attacker reportedly called out "subscribe to Pewdiepie" during the terror incident.

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Forty-one people were killed at the Al Noor mosque, seven at a mosque in the Linwood neighbourhood and one died in hospital, police said.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush declined to comment on whether it was an act of terrorism but said the situation was unprecedented in New Zealand.

One man was arrested and charged with murder in what appeared to be a carefully planned racist attack.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said one of the men in custody was Australian.

The online video footage, which appeared to have been captured on a camera strapped to the gunman's head, showed red petrol canisters in the back of his vehicle, along with weapons.

CNN cites a 2015 study that reported New Zealand had an adjusted rate of about 1 gun death per 100,000 people, while in 2017, the United States has an adjusted rate of 12 gun deaths per 100,000 people.

The Bangladesh cricket team was arriving for Friday prayers when the shooting occurred but all members were safe, a team coach told Reuters.

Political and Islamic leaders across Asia and the Middle East voiced concern over the targeting of Muslims.

At mid-afternoon Friday Scheer's new statement issued by email and posted to Facebook added mention of the fact two mosques were the targets and condemned a "cowardly and hateful attack on the Muslim community".


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