At least 49 people were killed and another 20 were seriously wounded during attacks on the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Mosque in Christchurch on Friday, March 15. The two locations have been placed into lockdown. 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. Police announced they were not looking for other suspects, however they are warning residents to maintain vigilance and to expect an increased security presence throughout the country in the coming days. A lockdown which was previously imposed on schools in the area has reportedly been lifted.
The Christchurch International Airport (CHC) is operating normally, however, security measures have been heightened at the airport, and Air New Zealand has canceled the remainder of regional flights expected to depart from Christchurch on March 15.
According to media reports, police forces are currently investigating a property in the city of Dunedin located around 320 km (200 mi) of Christchurch, in relation with the shootings. Cordons are reportedly in place in the Somerville Street and Everton Road, and nearby properties were evacuated.
Furhtermore, all mosques across the country have been asked to remain closed until further notice, and climate rallies which were expected to take place nationwide have been canceled.
Individuals in Christchurch and Dunedin 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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