Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that one of the suspects in custody in relation to today’s Christchurch mosque terrorist attack is an Australian.
Morrison fronted media a short time ago and stated that, after speaking with New Zealand police, one of the suspects arrested is Australian-born and is an Australian citizen, confirming speculation that circled social media in the immediate aftermath of the attack.
The Prime Minister labelled the attack as a “far-right extremist” incident, and applied the label “violent terrorist” to those responsible.
Morrison also offered the requisite “thoughts and prayers” sentiment in offering messages of comfort to New Zealand’s Islamic community in the wake of today’s heinous attacks.
I particularly want to express my sincere prayers and thoughts to those New Zealanders and Australians of Islamic faith today, who have been the victims of this callous right-wing extremist attack.
As family members with our New Zealand cousins today, we grieve, we are shocked, we are appalled, we are outraged, and we stand here and condemn absolutely the attack that occurred today by an extremist right wing violent terrorist.
The Prime Minister also asserted that an Australian-based investigation will be launched into the alleged terrorist, in conjunction with the larger Christchurch-based investigation which remains open and on-going.
Police in New Zealand are still to confirm any official death toll from today’s attacks, in which two mosques were stormed by multiple assailants armed with “military gear” and high-powered rifles.
Lockdowns previously enforced on Christchurch hospitals and schools have been lifted by authorities. However private businesses across the city are reportedly opting to close their doors for the night. Uber has also temporarily suspended operations in the city.Image: Getty Images / Anadolu Agency