(New Zealand shootings) None of the attackers detained was on terrorism watch

World | 15 Mar 2019 8:15 pm

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said today the shootings were "abhorrent.''

At the Deans Ave mosque 41 people were killed, while seven had died at the Linwood mosque. A 49th person had died in hospital, the New Zealand Herald reported.

One man, 28, had been charged with murder and was due to appear in Christchurch District Court tomorrow morning.

"Two others remain in custody," Bush said.

"Another person was arrested earlier today however that was not related to these events."

Speaking about the victims, Bush said: "Our love and thoughts go out to them and all of their family, all of their friends and all of their loved ones.

"We have staff around the country making sure everyone is safe, including armed offenders at all mosques. Police staff have gone above and beyond to protect people today."

Bush said police recovered a lot of firearms from both the Linwood Avenue and Deans Ave shooting scenes.

None of the four people initially arrested had been on any terrorism watch, including in Australia, the Police Commissioner said.

Bush said he has "no intelligence" on a potential attack on St Patrick's Day threat that has been reported. He was not aware of today's attacks being linked to any other terrorist plots.

Police were not "actively" looking for any of the potential attackers now.

Christchurch police had a force of 1000 staff, and Bush said he would expect "everyone of them" would want to be out on the streets now. Additional officers were being flown to Christchurch from Dunedin and surrounding areas.

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