Wellington: Earlier, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had said that 40 people had been killed while 20 were injured in the deadly attack. She called it one of the country’s “darkest days”.
This can “only be described as a terrorist attack”, she said in a second press conference following the shootings in Christchurch, adding that the national security level has been changed from low to “high”.”From what we know, it does appear to have been well planned,” she said. “Two explosive devices attached to suspect vehicles have now been found and they have been disarmed.”
She confirmed that four people, one of whom is an Australian, had been detained but said that none of them was on a terror watch list. The prime minister, however, said that she could not “give specifics about who was directly involved at each mosque”.
Ardern said the country was attacked because New Zealand “represents diversity”. She added that she planned to “get to Christchurch as early as I can”.
She also urged people not to share the video of the attack as well as the manifesto of the alleged shooter and added that websites, where pictures and videos had been shared, were working on taking them down.
“My message would be we should not be perpetuating, sharing, giving any oxygen to this act of violence and the message that’s set behind it.”
Authorities detained four people and defused explosive devices in what appeared to be a carefully planned attack. Police took three men and a woman into custody after the shootings, which shocked people across the nation of 5 million people.