The Latest: ‘Great Replacement’ theorist opposes shootings

0

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) – The Latest on shootings at mosques in New Zealand (all times local):

9:20 a.m.

The Frenchman who coined the term “the Great Replacement” used as the title of the alleged manifesto by the New Zealand mosque attacker says his theory is “diametrically opposed” to the bloodbath at the mosques.

Renaud Camus said in an interview on Friday that the shootings by a white supremacist that killed at least 49 people are “totally contrary to what I defend.”

Camus held firm to his notion that immigrants are replacing natives in France and elsewhere. He says it is a “changing of the people” that should be combated with what he calls “re-immigration” and not with violence.

Camus is 72 and developed his theory 20 years ago.

The term has been used more recently by French politicians opposed to immigration, notably far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

___

8:55 a.m.

Christchurch’s mayor says graves are being dug for the dozens of worshippers who were shot dead in two New Zealand mosques.

At least 49 people were slain during midday prayers Friday.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel says city officials on Saturday were working closely with the community on the specific requirements of a large number of Muslim funerals.

At least 49 people were shot to death at the mosques.

Authorities say most if not all were killed by an immigrant-hating white supremacist.

___

8:40 a.m.

A senior Turkish official says the suspect arrested in the New Zealand mosque attack travelled to Turkey multiple times and spent what the official called an “extended period of time in the country.

He says the suspect may have also travelled to countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with Turkish government rules.

The official says an investigation is underway of “the suspect’s movements and contacts within the country.”

He did not say when the suspect travelled to Turkey.

– By Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey.

___

8:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump is pledging “any assistance” the U.S. can give New Zealand following deadly shootings at a pair of mosques.

Trump tweeted that “we stand in solidarity with New Zealand” after speaking with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The president says “any assistance the U.S.A. can give, we stand ready to help. We love you New Zealand!”

At least 49 people were shot to death at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during midday prayers Friday.

Authorities say most if not all were killed by an immigrant-hating white supremacist.

___

7:55 a.m.

Officials say nine Indian nationals or people of Indian origin are missing after the mosque attacks in Christchurch.

India’s high commissioner to New Zealand, Sanjiv Kohli, tweeted Saturday that nine people were missing and called the attack a “huge crime against humanity.”

Indian officials have not said whether the nine were believed to be living in Christchurch.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a letter to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying that “hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies.”

An immigrant-hating white nationalist killed at least 49 people gathered for weekly prayers in a live-streamed attack. Another 48 people suffered gunshot wounds.

___

6:55 a.m.

Lawyers for a gunman who killed six people at a Quebec mosque in 2017 say their client is troubled his name is being associated with the mass killings at two New Zealand mosques Friday that claimed at least 49 lives.

Charles-Olivier Gosselin and Jean-Claude Gingras released a statement Friday stating convicted killer Alexandre Bissonnette is not looking for his acts to be imitated or to serve as a model for others.

Bissonnette was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for 40 years. Both the prosecution and his lawyers have recently announced they are appealing the sentence.

Gosselin and Gingras say Bissonnette profoundly regrets what he did and has been very affected by the shootings in New Zealand.

___

6:40 a.m.

The U.N. says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “is shocked and appalled at the terrorist attack” at two New Zealand mosques and is urging people everywhere to work better together “counter Islamophobia and eliminate intolerance and violent extremism.”

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters Friday that the U.N. chief stresses “the sanctity of mosques and all places of worship.”

Dujarric says Guterres also “calls upon all people on this holy day for Muslims to show signs of solidarity with the bereaved Islamic community.”

The attacks by an immigrant-hating white nationalist killed 49 people and injured dozens of others.

___

3 a.m.

Swedish YouTube personality PewDiePie says he feels sickened that the alleged gunman in the New Zealand mosque attacks referred to him during a livestream of the shooting.

In the video posted on Facebook, a voice is heard saying “Remember lads … subscribe to PewDiePie.”

PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, says on Twitter that he’s “absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person. My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families and everyone affected.”

PewDiePie is famous for his video game commentaries and has some 86 million followers. YouTube distanced itself from him in the past after he made jokes criticized as anti-Semitic and posted Nazi imagery in his videos. He has apologized.

He is engaged in an online battle with Indian music channel T-Series over which channel has the most subscribers. Supporters post messages encouraging others to subscribe to his channel, with the phrase “subscribe to PewDiePie.”

___

2 a.m.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry says four Pakistanis were wounded in mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted that five other Pakistani citizens are missing after Friday’s attacks.

He said Pakistani diplomats in New Zealand are in contact with local authorities.

Separately, the ministry said Pakistan views the attacks as an “assault on the values of freedom of conscience and association common to all mankind.”

It asked New Zealand to take immediate action to bring the perpetrators to justice and ensure the safety of the Muslim community.

___

1:30 a.m.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says at least three Turkish citizens were injured in attacks on Muslim worshippers in New Zealand and that he has spoken to one of them.

Addressing an election rally on Friday, Erdogan described a suspect in the attacks as “impertinent, immoral, vile and scum” and said he had chosen innocent worshippers as an easy target.

He told the crowd: “As Muslims, we will never bow our heads, but we will never fall to the level of these vile people.”

New Zealand authorities have arrested and charged a man with murder in what appeared to be a carefully planned racist attack. At least 49 people died.

Dozens of demonstrators protested the shootings after Friday prayers in Istanbul.

___

1 a.m.

Indonesia’s foreign ministry says two Indonesians, a father and his son, were injured in mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir says the father is in intensive care and his son is being treated at the same hospital. He declined to identify them.

The man’s wife, Alta Marie, said on Facebook that her husband, Zulfirman Syah, and their son are being treated at Christchurch Hospital.

“My husband was shot in multiple places and has a drain in his lung and has been in surgery,” she wrote. “I was recently united with my son, who has a gunshot wound to the leg and backside. He is traumatized.”

At least 49 people were killed and 48 others were hospitalized as a result of the attacks Friday.

___

12:45 a.m.

Bangladesh’s honorary consul in Auckland, New Zealand, says three Bangladeshis were killed in Friday’s mosque attacks in Christchurch and at least four others were injured.

Shafiqur Rahman Bhuiyan says “so far” three Bangladeshis are among the 49 people killed in the shootings. He said two of the injured Bangladeshis are in critical condition.

He says one person’s leg had to be amputated and another has gunshot wounds to his chest.

New Zealand health authorities say a total of 48 people are being treated at Christchurch Hospital for gunshot wounds.

___

12:30 a.m.

Facebook says it has taken down a video of shootings at a New Zealand mosque and removed the alleged shooter’s accounts from its platforms after being alerted by police.

The man who allegedly carried out the shootings in Christchurch on Friday reportedly broadcast 17 minutes of the attack on a Facebook livestream.

Facebook New Zealand spokeswoman Mia Garlick said in a statement that the company is “also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware.”

She said the company “will continue working directly with New Zealand Police as their response and investigation continues.”

Both YouTube owner Google and Twitter also say they’re working to remove video of the shootings from their sites.

___

12:15 a.m.

New Zealand health authorities say 48 people with gunshot wounds are being treated at Christchurch Hospital after mass shootings at two mosques killed 49 people.

The chief executive of the Canterbury District Health Board, David Meates, says the patients range from young children to adults and the injuries range from minor to critical.

Meates says 12 operating theaters are being used and some patients will need multiple surgeries.

He says about 200 family members are at the hospital early Saturday awaiting news about their loved ones.

___

11:50 p.m.

New Zealand police say their investigation into mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch has extended 360 kilometers (240 miles) to the south where homes have been evacuated around a “location of interest” in Dunedin.

A police statement gave no further detail of how the location might be linked to the attacks in Christchurch that claimed at least 49 lives.

Police say homes around the location in Dunedin have been evacuated as a precaution.

Three people are being held in Christchurch, including one who has been charged with murder, and police say two improvised explosive devises were found in a car.

___

11:20 p.m.

National carrier Air New Zealand has canceled at least 17 flights in and out of Christchurch, saying it couldn’t screen customers and their baggage following deadly shootings at two mosques.

The airline said some smaller planes traveling on regional routes were canceled while larger jet planes would continue landing and taking off due to security screening processes already in place.

Typically, passengers on smaller turboprop aircraft traveling to or from Christchurch don’t go through security screening and are able to walk right onto the plane.

Air New Zealand said the safety of its customers and employees was paramount and apologized for the inconvenience.

Police say at least 49 people were killed in the shootings during Friday prayers at the mosques.

___

9:10 p.m.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush says the death toll has increased to 49 in shootings at two mosques.

Bush told a news conference that a man has been charged with murder and will appear in court tomorrow. He would not say whether the same shooter was responsible for both attacks.

A man who earlier claimed responsibility said he was a 28-year-old Australian and described anti-immigrant motives in a manifesto.

Police earlier said four people had been taken into custody, and one had been identified as Australian. However, Bush didn’t mention the other people.

Bush clarified that police had found two improvised explosive devices in one car. He said they had disabled one and were in the process of disabling the second.

___

8 p.m.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the national security threat level has been lifted from low to high after deadly shootings at two mosques.

Forty people were killed in Friday’s attack and four people were taken into custody, including one Australian. Ardern said none had been on any terror watch list.

The security threat level is now at the second-highest level. She said authorities had no reason to believe there were more suspects, but “we are not assuming that at this stage.”

A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings described anti-immigrant views in a manifesto.

Ardern said, “These are people who I would describe as having extremist views, that have absolutely no place in New Zealand.”

___

7:40 p.m.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the shootings at two mosques in New Zealand appear to have been a well-planned “terrorist attack.”

Ardern said 40 people were killed at two mosques in the city of Christchurch and more than 20 seriously injured.

She said earlier Friday that migrants and refugees appeared to be most affected by the shootings.

A man who claimed responsibility for the attack said he was a 28-year-old Australian and described anti-immigrant motives in a manifesto.

Police earlier said four people were taken into custody, and one has been identified as Australian.

Ardern said in a news conference, “It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack. From what we know, it does appear to have been well planned.”

___

7:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says 40 people have been killed in an attack at mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Four people have been detained, and one is Australian.

Ardern said more than 20 people were seriously injured during the shootings at two mosques during Friday prayers.

Thirty fatalities occurred at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch. Seven of the dead were inside the suburban Linwood Masjid Mosque and three died outside the same mosque.

A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings said in a manifesto that he was a 28-year-old white Australian who came to New Zealand only to plan and train for the attack.

___

7 p.m.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that one of the four people taken into custody in New Zealand’s mosque shootings is an Australian.

A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings said in a manifesto that he was a 28-year-old white Australian who came to New Zealand only to plan and train for the attack.

New Zealand police said they had arrested four people. Morrison on Friday confirmed one of those who were arrested was an Australian-born citizen. He said Australian authorities were assisting with the investigation.

Morrison said Australians were shocked, appalled and outraged by the attack. He described the gunman as “an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist.”

___

6:20 p.m.

Indonesia’s foreign minister says six Indonesians were at the Al Noor Mosque in New Zealand when a shooting occurred and three of them escaped.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said, “We are looking for three other Indonesian citizens.”

Police have described multiple fatalities in shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch and say four people are in custody.

The Indonesian Embassy in Wellington sent a team to Christchurch that is coordinating with New Zealand officials.

The foreign ministry says there are 330 Indonesian citizens in Christchurch, 130 of them students.

It said it strongly condemns the attack. “The government and the people of Indonesia convey deep condolences to the victims and their families.”

___

6 p.m.

New Zealand police say they’re not aware of other suspects beyond the four who have been arrested after two mosque shootings but they can’t be certain.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush did not elaborate on the suspects who are in custody.

The shootings occurred at two mosques in the Christchurch area during Friday afternoon prayers.

A witness described multiple deaths at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch. A witness who heard about five gunshots at the suburban Linwood Masjid Mosque said two wounded people were carried out on stretchers.

___

5:30 p.m.

New Zealand police say they have taken into custody three men and one woman over the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the events Friday afternoon “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

The shootings involved multiple fatalities but authorities have not said how many.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said police have defused a number of improvised explosive devices found on vehicles after the mosque shootings.

A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he explained who he was and his reasoning for his actions. He said he considered it a terrorist attack.

___

4:30 p.m.

Police have warned people to avoid mosques anywhere in New Zealand following two shootings with multiple fatalities at two mosques in Christchurch.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said anyone thinking of going to a mosque should stay put and close their doors.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a Friday afternoon news conference that one suspect was in custody but “there could be others involved.”

A man who lives near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch said many people were dead there. A witness to a second shooting told New Zealand media he saw two wounded people being transported by rescuers afterward.

___

4:10 p.m.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says following fatal shootings at two mosques in Christchurch it is “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

Police said there were multiple fatalities and one person was in custody, but no details were immediately available.

Ardern said at a Friday afternoon news conference, “what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”

She said while many people affected may be migrants or refugees “they have chosen to make New Zealand their home and it is their home. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not.”

___

3:45 p.m.

New Zealand media say a shooting has occurred in a second mosque in the city of Christchurch.

No details were immediately available.

Earlier Friday afternoon, police had urged people to stay indoors as authorities responded to a shooting at the Masjid Al Noor mosque.

A neighbor described mass casualties inside the mosque and said he saw the gunman flee.

___

3 p.m.

A witness says many people have been killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Police have not described the scale of the Friday shooting but urged people in central Christchurch to stay indoors.

Witness Len Peneha says he saw a man dressed in black enter the Masjid Al Noor mosque and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror.

He says he also saw the gunman flee before emergency services arrived

Peneha says he went into the mosque to try and help: “I saw dead people everywhere.”

Members of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada gather at the Baitul Islam Mosque during a special prayer in in Vaughan, Ontario for the victims of the deadly attacks on mosques in New Zealand on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP)
Napcloud