Mar 15, 2019 07:14 Asia/Tehran

49 people were killed and more than 20 seriously wounded in mass shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Iran Press/Asia: New Zealand's police commissioner said on Friday 49 people were killed in Christchurch at two mosques and one man of four people arrested had been charged with murder.

As many as 41 people died at one mosque, seven at another and one person died in hospital, Mike Bush told reporters, describing the attack as a "very well-planned event," Reuters reported.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the incident as "one of New Zealand’s darkest days" and said the events in the city of Christchurch represented 'an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.'

"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack," New Zealand Prime Minister said.

Ardern said New Zealand had been placed on its highest security threat level. She said four people in police custody held extremist views, but had not been on any police watchlists.

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 deadliest shooting occurred at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch at about 1:45 p.m.

Police said there was a second shooting at the Linwood Masjid Mosque.

Police push back members of the public following a shooting at the Masjid Al Noor mosque, New Zealand, March 15/ REUTERS

Mass shootings in New Zealand are exceedingly rare. The deadliest in modern history occurred in the small town of Aramoana in 1990, when gunman David Gray shot and killed 13 people following a dispute with a neighbor.101/202/213


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