Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on the evening (local time) of Friday, March 15, that at least 40 people were killed and another 20 were seriously wounded during the attacks on the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Mosque in Christchurch earlier in the day. Ardern said that the shootings are being investigated as a terrorist attack and appear to have been well planned. Authorities also confirmed that two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) attached to vehicles related to the incident were discovered and successfully defused. Police have arrested three men and one woman in connection to the attacks, including the suspected shooter who has been identified as a 28-year-old Australian citizen. Details are still emerging.
A heavy police presence has been deployed throughout Christchurch as an investigation into the attack continues. Deans Avenue and Linwood Avenue around the mosques remain closed and significant traffic delays are likely in the area. Police officials are warning residents to maintain vigilance and to expect an increased security presence throughout the country in the coming days.
Individuals in Christchurch are advised to remain vigilant, avoid the area of the incidents, obey all instructions issued by the local authorities, and report any suspicious objects or behavior.
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