Forty-nine people were killed in shootings at two mosques in central Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday, in a terrorist attack that appeared to have been carried out by a white nationalist extremist who posted a racist manifesto online and streamed live video of the attacks on Facebook.
• A 28-year-old man from Australia was charged with murder and appeared Saturday morning in a Christchurch courtroom. Court papers identified him as Brenton Harrison Tarrant. The New Zealand police said he would face additional charges. A second man, 18, was charged with “intent to excite hostility or ill-will.”
• Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the assault as “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence,” and promised changes in New Zealand’s gun laws.
• President Trump, who was cited in the manifesto as a source of inspiration, told reporters he did not see white nationalism as a rising threat around the world and attributed such attacks to “a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.” He also said he had not seen the manifesto.
Two mosques are attacked
The attacker targeted the Al Noor Mosque in the center of the city and Linwood Mosque, about three miles away.
The country’s police commissioner, Mike Bush, said at a Friday evening news conference that 41 people had been killed at Al Noor Mosque and seven at Linwood Mosque, and that another victim had died at Christchurch Hospital.
David Meates, the chief executive of the Canterbury District Health Board, said that 48 people, including young children, were treated for injuries at the hospital. Mr. Bush said Saturday morning that two of the victims were in critical condition.
The police said Friday that three men and one woman had been taken into custody, but Mr. Bush lowered the total number to three on Saturday morning, indicating that someone had been released.
Ms. Ardern said none of those detained had been on security watch lists.
Mr. Bush had earlier urged people not to go to mosques anywhere in New Zealand on Friday. He also urged mosques nationally to “close your doors until you hear from us again.”
Handcuffed suspect appears in court
In a Christchurch courtroom hearing closed to the public for security reasons, police officers in bulletproof vests brought in the suspect, Brenton Harrison Tarrant. The police said he had been charged with one count of murder but would face additional charges. Mr. Tarrant, 28, short with thinning brown hair, handcuffed and wearing white prison clothing, looked around the courtroom but said nothing as District Court Judge Paul Kellar ordered him held for a further hearing on April 5.
Regional officials have said Mr. Tarrant is an Australian citizen. Court papers listed his New Zealand address as Dunedin City, which is about 280 miles south of Christchurch.
Richard Peters, his court-appointed lawyer, said Mr. Tarrant had indicated he might represent himself in the prosecution. Asked how Mr. Tarrant had reacted to what he is facing, Mr. Peters said, “He seemed to be quite aware of where he is and what he’s doing.”
At the same time the charging document for Mr. Tarrant was handed out to reporters, a second court filing was distributed that said Daniel John Burrough, 18, of Christchurch, had been charged with “intent to excite hostility or ill-will.” Court officials would not elaborate on how the two cases were related.
In addition to Mr. Tarrant, three other people were arrested in connection with the attacks, although one was apparently released. Few details have been offered about them.
Video shows part of the shooting
A 17-minute video posted to Facebook shows part of the attack.
The clip, which appeared to have been taken from a helmet camera worn by the gunman, begins behind the wheel of a car. A man, whose face can occasionally be seen in the rearview mirror, drives through the streets of Christchurch before pulling up in front of Al Noor Mosque, beside the sprawling Hagley Park.
He approaches the mosque on foot, his weapon visible, and begins shooting at people at the entrance. What follows is a harrowing nearly two minutes of his firing on worshipers.
At one point the gunman exits the mosque and fires in both directions down the sidewalk before returning to his car for another gun — which, like the others, was inscribed with numbers, symbols or messages. When he re-enters the mosque, he shoots several bodies at close range.
After another few minutes, he returns to his vehicle and drives away.
“There wasn’t even time to aim, there was so many targets,” he says at one point, as the sirens of an emergency response vehicle blare in the background.
Mob of Radicals Nearly Kill Pastor and Family in Northeast India
According to Morning Star News, a small mob of radical Hindu nationalists broke into the home of a Christian pastor in India’s Bihar state in an attempt to kill the pastor and his family. Fortunately, the mob was driven away by local villagers before they could physically harm the pastor and his family.
The attack took place at 1 a.m. on Monday, October 28. According to Morning Star News, a mob of 10 to 15 radicals brandishing swords, bricks, and metal rods surrounded the home of Pastor Palathingal Joseph Johnson in the Rajasan area of Bihar’s Vaishali District.
“Soon we heard the noise of glass breaking,” Pastor Johnson told Morning Star News. “One team climbed the roof of our house, but they could not break open the roof to enter the house. So, they twisted the aluminum corrugated sheet and entered.”
Pastor Johnson and his family, including his wife and four children, hid themselves in one of the home’s two rooms. However, the door to that room did not have a lock, so Pastor Johnson and his wife had to use their bodies to block the radicals from entering and attacking.
Pastor Johnson calls to local police went unanswered, so he called a local Christian for help. Soon, 50 local villagers arrived on the scene and drove away the radicals.
“If the attackers had managed to come into the room where the family was hiding, we would be looking at a much worse situation,” Pastor Gautam Kumar, a local activist and pastor, told Morning Star News. “I do not doubt that they would have killed the family.”
The incident has been reported to local police and a First Information Report (FIR # 427/19) has been filed. However, no arrests have been made in regards to the incident.
Attacks on Christians and their places of worship in India continue to rise in both number and severity. Since the current, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took power in May 2014, the number of documented incidents of Christian persecution has more than doubled.
പ്രകോപനത്തിന് പ്രതികാരം: ആണ്സുഹൃത്തിന്റെ മുഖത്ത് 19-കാരി ആസിഡ് ഒഴിച്ചു
ആഗ്ര: രഹസ്യ ചിത്രങ്ങള് പ്രചരിപ്പിക്കുമെന്ന് ഭീഷണിപ്പെടുത്തിയ ആണ്സുഹൃത്തിന്റെ മുഖത്ത് 19-കാരി ആസിഡ് ഒഴിച്ചു. അലിഗഡിലെ ജീവന്ഗഡ് പ്രദേശത്താണ് സംഭവം. യുവാവിന്റെ ബന്ധുക്കളുടെ പരാതിയില് പെണ്കുട്ടിയെ പോലീസ് അറസ്റ്റ് ചെയ്തു.
വിവാഹത്തിന് തയാറായില്ലെങ്കില് രഹസ്യചിത്രങ്ങള് സമൂഹമാധ്യമങ്ങളില് പ്രചരിപ്പിക്കുമെന്നു പറഞ്ഞ് യുവാവ് ഭീഷണിപ്പെടുത്തിയിരുന്നു. ‘ഇതിന് പിന്നാലെയാണ് ഇങ്ങനെ ചെയ്യേണ്ടി വന്നതെന്നും പെണ്കുട്ടി പോലീസിന് മൊഴി നല്കി. അതേസമയം, മകനുമായി പെണ്കുട്ടി അടുപ്പത്തിലായിരുന്നെന്നും എന്നാല് കുറച്ചു നാളുകള്ക്ക് മുന്പ് ഇരുവരും തമ്മില് പിണങ്ങിയതായും യുവാവിന്റെ അമ്മ പറഞ്ഞു. മകനെ പെണ്കുട്ടി നിരന്തരം ഫോണില് വിളിച്ച് ശല്യം ചെയ്തിരുന്നതായും അമ്മ വിശദമാക്കി.
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