Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the events in Christchurch are "an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence" and many of them are "affected". In addition to the dead, they were more than 20 people were seriously wounded.
"It is clear that this can only be said to be a terrorist attack," Ardern said.
Breaking: CAIR Condemns Terror Attack on New Zealand Mosques, Urges Stepped-Up Security by Muslim Communities in US, Worldwide https://t.co/zBTGlwRHLF
̵1; CAIR National (@CAIRNational) March 15 , 2019
Police took three men and women into custody after the shootings, which shocked people across the nation of 5 million people.
Authorities have not elaborated on who they are detained. But a man who claimed responsibility for the shootings left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he who and what his reasoning for his actions. He said he was a 28-year-old white Australian.
Australian prime minister Scott Morrison arrested one of the four arrested people for being Australian-born citizen.
Aries at a news conference about the possible motives, saying that while many people affected by the shootings may be migrant or refugees. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. "
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said they were not aware of any suspects beyond the four who were detained.
"The attackers were apprehended by local police staff. There have been some absolute acts of bravery," Bush said. "I'm hugely proud of our police staff, the way they've responded to this."
Bush said the Defense Force had a number of improvised explosive devices that were attached to vehicles stopped after the attacks.
He said anybody who was thinking of going to a mosque anywhere in New Zealand on Friday should stay put.
There remains a police presence at many scenes in Christchurch.
The deadliest attack at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch at about 1:45 p.m. Arden said 30 people were killed there.
Witness Len Peneha said he was a man dressed in black and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running out of the mosque in terror.
Peneha, who lives next door to the mosque, said the gunman ran out of the mosque, dropped what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon in his driveway, and fled.
Peneha said he went into the mosque to try and help.
"There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque," he said. "It's unbelievable nutty. I do not understand how anyone could do that to those people." It's ridiculous. "
He said he recovered about five people in his home. He said one was slightly injured.
"I've lived next door to this mosque for about five years and the people are great, they're very friendly," he said. "I just do not understand it."
He said the gunman was white and wearing a helmet with some kind of device on top, giving him a military-type appearance.
A video that was livestreamed by the shooter shows the attack in horrifying detail. The gunman spends more than two minutes inside the mosque spraying terrified worshippers with bullets again and again, sometimes re-firing at people he has already cut down.
He then walks outside the street, where he shoots at people on the sidewalk. Children's screams can be heard in the distance as he returns to his car to get another rifle.
The gunman walks back into the mosque, where there are at least two dozen people lying on the ground. Where the song "Fire" by English rock band "The Crazy World of Arthur Brown" can be heard blasting from the speakers. The singer bellows, "I am the god of hellfire!" and the gunman drives away. The video then cuts out.
Masjid Mosque that Ardern said killed 10 people.
Mark Nichols told the New Zealand Herald he heard about five gunshots and that a Friday prayer-goer returned fire with a rifle or shotgun.
Nichols said he saw two injured people being carried out on stretchers.
New Zealand only to plan and train for the attack. He said he was not a member of any organization, but he had not been and did not work with the nationalist groups.
He said the mosques in Christchurch and Linwood would be the targets, as would a third mosque in the town of Ashburton if he could make it there.
He said he was using New Zealand because of its location, to show that it was not "mass immigration."
New Zealand is generally considered to be a host country for immigrants and refugees. Last year, the prime minister announced the country would boost its annual refugee quota from 1,000 to 1,500 starting in 2020. Ardern, whose party promotes the increase of the intake of refugees, dubbed the planned increase "the right thing to do."
A cricket match between New Zealand and Bangladesh scheduled to start.
Players and members of the team's coaching staff were reportedly on their bus, approaching the Masjid Al Noor mosque at Hagley Park when the shooting broke out.
Batsman Tamim Iqbal tweeted "Full team got saved from active shooters. Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers."
Mass shootings in New Zealand are exceedingly rare. The deadliest in 1990, when gunman David Gray shot and killed 13 people following a dispute with a neighbor.
ABC OTV contributed to this report
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