At least 49 dead in New Zealand after shootings at two mosques

At least 49 dead in New Zealand after shootings at two mosques

At least 49 dead in New Zealand after shootings at two mosques

Ardern said her country is treating the shootings as a "terrorist incident".

Social media companies struggled to block the spread of graphic footage that seemingly showed a mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques after one of the shooters reportedly livestreamed the attack, CNN reported.

Video footage widely circulated on social media, apparently taken by a gunman and posted online live as the attack unfolded, showed him driving to one mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people inside.

The news has taken over worldwide media with broadcasters including CNN, BBC and CNBC going live to New Zealand - the worst shooting attack to ever take place in the country.

It was not immediately clear how many attackers were involved, but New Zealand police said that four people - three men and a woman - were taken into custody.

Two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand were attacked Friday afternoon when at least one gunman opened fire, with "multiple fatalities" reported by New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush, who would not give a more specific number.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, following the shootings, said they were taking action to remove the videos.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the United Kingdom "stands with" New Zealand after multiple people were killed in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch.

An injured person is loaded into an ambulance following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 15, 2019.

Bush said earlier that police haven't been able to identify the victims yet because the mosques are still on lockdown.

It is unclear how the person came by such information.

"We will keep Australians safe in every way possible we can and we will work with our partners in the region, our family in the region of New Zealand to do everything we can to support them", Mr Morrison said.

He said the mosques in Christchurch and Linwood would be the targets, as would a third mosque in the town of Ashburton if he could make it there, as per reports by PTI. "There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque", Peneha told the Associated Press. "I saw some people had blood on their body and some people were limping", an eyewitness said.

Police have not described the scale of the Friday shooting but urged people in central Christchurch to stay indoors.

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