The first report of an attack came from the Al Noor mosque, located in central Christchurch.
A second mosque in the suburb of Linwood was evacuated, but there were fewer details from that site. Police also defused "a number of IEDs [explosive devices] attached to vehicles",
The police commissioner said "multiple fatalities" were recorded at two locations.
A man in his late twenties was charged with murder and will appear in court on Saturday morning, police confirmed.The attack, which came around the time people were attending the mosques for Friday prayers, was the deadliest in the nation's history.
A gunman live-streamed footage of his rampage to Facebook, filmed with a head-mounted camera. The footage showed him firing indiscriminately at men, women and children from close range inside the Al-Noor mosque.
Facebook said it had removed the gunman's Facebook and Instagram accounts and was working to remove any copies of the footage.
The suspect who was charged appeared to have published a manifesto before the attack outlining his intentions, in which he identified himself as a 28-year-old Australian citizen and espoused far right and anti-immigrant ideology.
"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack," Prime Minister Ardern said in a press conference.
Text Source: Edited and Shortened from BBC News UK
Image Source: Google Images
Vatican News va Release of Pope Francis' Condolences:
Full text of the telegram sent by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, on behalf of Pope Francis:
His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence at two Mosques in Christchurch, and he assures all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity in the wake of these attacks. Mindful of the efforts of the security and emergency personnel in this difficult situation, His Holiness prays for the healing of the injured, the consolation of those who grieve the loss of their loved ones, and for all affected by this tragedy. Commending those who have died to the loving mercy of Almighty God, Pope Francis invokes the divine blessings of comfort and strength upon the nation.
Pietro Parolin Secretary of State
Release from the Bishops' Conference New Zealand:
Message from the Catholic Bishops :