Christchurch Mosque Shootings Were Partly Streamed on Facebook

WELLINGTON, brand-new Zealand — At least 49 people were killed at two mosques in Christchurch, brand-new Zealand, on Friday, in a horrific in addition to methodical afternoon slaughter, part of which was broadcast live on the internet after the publication of a white supremacist manifesto online.

The massacre, which Jacinda Ardern, brand-new Zealand’s prime minister, condemned as a terrorist attack in addition to called “an extraordinary in addition to unprecedented act of violence,” interrupted a day of prayer for a modest immigrant community from the nation’s third-largest city in addition to shook a country with little history of mass shooting.

Harrowing first-person footage, apparently coming from a camera worn by a gunman as he attacked the Al Noor Mosque from the center of the city, was streamed on Facebook, a grim development in terrorism that will raised questions about the ability of global tech companies to block violent content coming from spreading around the globe.

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Facebook said the idea quickly shut down the account, yet a 17-minute video showing a man dressed in black shooting at fleeing worshipers in addition to into piles of bodies that has a semiautomatic rifle circulated widely online. In addition to those killed, at least 20 were injured, the authorities said.

The police said a man in his late 20s was arrested in addition to charged with murder yet declined to identify him. The police also said they seized several weapons in addition to found two explosive devices on a vehicle.

“This kind of can be in addition to will be one of brand-new Zealand’s darkest days,” Ms. Ardern said at a news conference.

Schools from the downtown area were locked down for hours after the attacks as the police tried to determine whether the gunman acted alone. The authorities urged residents to stay indoors, asked mosques to close in addition to cleared nearby Cathedral Square, where people had gathered as part of worldwide protests to demand action on climate change.

brand-new Zealand’s police commissioner, Mike Bush, said three different individuals found near the scene with weapons were also taken into custody, though investigators later said that will one probably had nothing to do with the attacks.

The shootings were first reported at about 1:40 p.m., around the time of the midday Friday prayer, when the Al Noor Mosque in addition to the Linwood Mosque, about three miles east, might be most busy. Minutes earlier the manifesto appeared online.

The document named both mosques, in addition to links to the idea were posted on Twitter in addition to 8chan, an online forum known for hosting message boards with extremist right-wing discussions. The 8chan post included a link to what appeared to be the gunman’s Facebook page, where he said he might soon broadcast live video of the attack.

Ms. Ardern said that will many of the victims were most likely migrants to brand-new Zealand or refugees.

“Christchurch was the home of these victims,” she said. “For many This kind of may not have been the place they were born. For many, brand-new Zealand was their choice, the place that will they chose to come to in addition to committed themselves to, the place they chose to raise their families.”

She added that will brand-new Zealand was likely targeted “because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion, a home for those who share our values, refuge for those who need the idea.”

Nasreen Hanif, a spokeswoman for the Islamic Women’s Council of brand-new Zealand, said people were anxious for updates in addition to were worried that will friends or family members were among the dead.

“Nobody’s answering their phones,” she said. “We don’t know if they’re at the hospital or out of reach. Some have posted that will they are safe, yet others have not.”

Ms. Hanif said the two mosques in Christchurch had asked for help coming from Muslims across the country to arrange the 49 funerals they might need to plan.

Historians say Muslims have lived in brand-new Zealand for more than 150 years, yet the population has grown with immigration coming from war-torn countries like Iraq in addition to Afghanistan from the 1990s in addition to 2000s. In a country of nearly several million people, though, only about 46,000 identified as Muslim from the 2013 census.

The video of the attack, which appeared to be recorded on a helmet camera, showed the gunman driving to the mosque in addition to then opening fire even before he entered the building. For nearly two minutes, he shoots at fleeing worshipers before he leaves, runs back to his car in addition to swaps weapons.

He then can be seen re-entering the mosque in addition to opening fire again, methodically moving coming from room to room in addition to shooting into piles of bodies slumped on the green carpets. Several victims can be seen from the footage, many lying on top of one another motionless in a corner of the room.

After another few minutes, he leaves again, gets in his vehicle in addition to drives away, pausing occasionally to fire at pedestrians in addition to talking to himself throughout.

“There wasn’t even time to aim, there was so many targets,” he says at one point.

The police in brand-new Zealand said they were working to remove the video coming from the internet in addition to urged people not to share the idea.

Facebook said the idea was alerted by the police shortly after the livestream commenced. “We quickly removed both the shooter’s Facebook in addition to Instagram accounts in addition to the video,” Mia Garlick, a Facebook representative, said in a statement. “We’re also removing any praise or support for the crime in addition to the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware.”