Mass shootings claim 49 lives in New Zealand

Another 48 people were being treated for gunshot wounds, including 20 in serious condition

Photo: AP Ambulance staff take a man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday.

New Zealand suffered its worst mass shooting of modern times, with 49 people dead and more than 20 seriously injured after a terrorist attack at two mosques in the South Island city of Christchurch.
According to the latest announcements from the police authorities, a 28-years-old Australian has been charged with murder and should appear in a local court tomorrow morning. 

Three other armed people were also apprehended but police are still unsure of their possible involvement and are still working through events.

In a press conference, Prime Minister Ardern described the attack as "one of New Zealand's darkest days."

"What has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence," she said, adding that the attackers and their extremist views have "absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world.”

She was refering to the alleged shooter, who was described as "extremist right wing, violent terrorist" by authorities. He has live-streamed part of the attack and also wrote and published online manifesto referencing "white genocide" driven by "mass immigration." In the rambling document that’s dozens of pages long, the attacker says he was inspired by Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who was responsible for the deaths of 77 people in 2011.

After news appear President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, issued a statement in which he offered his sincerest condolences " to the loved ones of the victims and the community as a whole."

"The European Union mourns with you today and we will always stand with you against those who heinously want to destroy our societies and our way of life,” he said. 

High Representative Federica Mogherini also issued a statement this morning expressing her full solidarity with the people and authorities of New Zealand at this extremely difficult time. 

“Attacks on places of worship are attacks on all of us who value diversity and freedom of religion and expression”, she said in a statement. “Such acts strengthen our resolve to tackle, together with the whole international community, the global challenges of terrorism, extremism and hatred.”

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