One of the perpetrators should be a far-right Australian. The facts at a glance.
At least one gunman opened fire in two mosques in the New Zealand town of Christchurch, killing at least 40 people and injuring others. The whole country is in shock, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke of "one of New Zealand's blackest days". The attacks were to be regarded as a "terrorist attack", which was apparently "well prepared". What we know about the attack – and what is still unclear.
What we know
- The number of dead is now known: Prime Minister Ardern confirmed that there were at least 40 dead. 20 more were partly seriously injured. At first, media had spoken of at least nine dead.
- Four suspects were already arrested by the police, three men and one woman. They had explosives attached to their cars.
- The attacks took place in the Masjid al-Noor Mosque in downtown Christchurch and in a mosque in the suburb of Linwood. They occurred during Friday prayers when the mosques were full. At 1:15 pm local time, the first shots were fired.
- One of the perpetrators streamed his act live on Facebook. Facebook deleted his accounts for a hint from the police. The video still circulates on the net.
- The alleged terrorist who attacked the Masjid al-Noor mosque is a far-right Australian, according to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. He had previously been on any terrorist list.
What we do not know
- Who the arrested suspects are is unknown. It is obvious that among them is the man who is seen in the video of the attack as the perpetrator, but there is no confirmation for it. However, the police have been slowing down the security arrangements in Christchurch, which suggests that she does not expect more fugitives. Nothing is known about the other three detainees.
- How the attack ran exactly is unclear. The police did not say if only one of the suspects actually shot and then drove from one mosque to another, or if the attackers were coordinating in two places at the same time.
- The net circulates a right-wing manifesto that seems to announce the attack. Whether the author is really the perpetrator or one of the arrested, is not yet proven beyond doubt. It is also unknown whether the suspects were in contact with other extreme right-wing groups or organizations.