Forty-nine people were killed in shootings at two mosques in central Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday, in a terrorist attack that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described as “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”
• Officials said that four people were in custody, and that a number of explosive devices were found attached to vehicles that they had stopped.
• A Muslim leader in New Zealand said the attack was especially shocking as it took place around Friday prayers. The police called on mosques nationally to “shut their doors” and urged people to stay away from the mosques until further notice.
• A video and manifesto that appeared to be by a gunman involved in the shooting were posted online on the day of the attack.
Two mosques are attacked
Shots were fired at Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue near Hagley Park in the center of the city, and at Linwood Mosque, about three miles away, the police said.
The country’s police commissioner, Mike Bush, said in an evening news conference that 41 people had been killed at Al Noor Mosque and seven at Linwood Mosque, and that a further victim had died at Christchurch Hospital.
The police said that four people, including three men and one woman, had been taken into custody. Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia said that one of them was Australian.
Ms. Ardern described those arrested as one principal, two associates and one person not directly connected to the attacks. She said that none of them were on security watch lists.