New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced 40 people have been killed; and at least 20 injured, in Friday’s attacks on two Christchurch mosques. Ardern described the incident as a terrorist attack.
Here’s what we know so far:
- Beginning at about 1.40 p.m. local time, armed gunmen attacked two mosques in Christchurch, killing dozens of people.
- Police quickly locked down the city in response, including schools and government buildings. Within hours, police said four people were taken into custody — three men and one woman.
- In a social media post just before the attack, an account that is believed to belong to one of the attackers posted a link to an 87-page manifesto that was filled with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim ideas and explanations for an attack.
- According to Ardern, bombs were found attached to the attackers’ cars. They have since been disarmed by New Zealand’s armed forces.
- One of the attacks appears to have been streamed live on social media. The graphic video has since been removed and police are requesting that people refrain from sharing it.
- Little is known about the attackers so far. At least one has been confirmed as an Australian citizen, while witnesses said one of the attackers was white and wearing a uniform. Ardern confirmed the attackers were not on security watch lists.
- The lockdown on Christchurch schools has now been lifted and children are back with their parents.
- Police are expected to speak again within an hour.