At Least 49 Dead in New Zealand Mosque Massacres

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Shooting in Christchurch was carried out by "an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist", says Morrison.

The White House also issued a statement, saying the USA strongly condemns the attack and stands in solidarity with the people of New Zealand.

At 2:40pm local time in central Christchurch, reports surfaced of a shooting featuring "multiple" gunmen who opened fire at two separate mosques.

"I want to assure the public we are doing everything we can to make sure there is no more harm to their communities", Bush said.

"These are people who I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world", Ardern said. "From what we know, it does appear to have been well planned".

9pm: Death toll rises to 49 and Police Commissioner Bush reveals a man in his late 20s has been charged with murder.

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All mosques in New Zealand had been asked to shut their doors, police said.

Two explosive devices attached to a auto are found and disarmed by a bomb squad at Strickland Street, not far from the Al Noor Mosque.

The shootings took place in Christchurch, New Zealand near Cathedral Square and Hagley Park. Prime Minister of #NewZealand: "Many of those who will have been directly affected by the shooting may be migrants to New Zealand".

She says this is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.

"Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online", New Zealand Police tweeted. "And you should condemn this not only as a hate crime but as a white supremacist terrorist attack".

The country's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the values of her country would not be "shaken" by the deadly mosque attacks. "Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch", he wrote.

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She pronounced it "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

Police did not identify those taken into custody and gave no details except to say that none of them had been on any watch list.

Of the 49 fatalities, 41 were killed at the Al Noor Mosque and seven at the Linwood Avenue mosque.

"We would strongly urge that the link not be shared".

Witnesses told media that a man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit, and carrying an automatic rifle had started randomly shooting people in the Al Noor mosque.

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