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‘One of New Zealand’s darkest days’: NZ prime minister comments on double mosque attack

‘One of New Zealand’s darkest days’: NZ prime minister comments on double mosque attack
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New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern made a statement following a coordinated attack on two mosques in the area of Christchurch, Canterbury.

The attacks, which began unfolding Friday afternoon at 1:40 p.m. local time, left multiple people dead at two locations, though police only have one person in custody.

“Whilst I cannot give any confirmation at this stage around fatalities and casualties, what I can say is that it is clear that this is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” the prime minister stated.

Ardern described the attack as “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”

She said that those at the mosque had the right to exercise their religious freedom. She continued that while they may be migrants to New Zealand, perhaps even refugees, they had chosen to make New Zealand their home.

What has happened in Christchurch is an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence. It has no place in New Zealand. Many of those affected will be members of our migrant communities – New Zealand is their home – they are us.

“They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not,” she said. “They have no place in New Zealand. There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence, which it is clear this act was.”

She added that her thoughts were with the people of New Zealand and all those who have been affected by the tragedy.

“My thoughts also to those in Christchurch, who are still dealing with an unfolding situation. The advice from police continues to be that people remain indoors. I acknowledge that that may mean that some families are separated, but please continue to listen out for information as it comes to light that’s been directly provided by the New Zealand Police with further information,” she said.
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