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White supremacist slaughters dozens in mosques

A self-described “Trump supporter” with virulent white supremacist, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant views attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Thursday. Within minutes, he killed 49 people and injured 48 more. Police said the attack was planned.

Witnesses described the attacker as a white male dressed in military-style camouflage clothing, armed with a semi-automatic rifle, with extra magazines strapped to his legs. Police said they recovered an array of guns and found IEDs attached to vehicles.

Even before the full extent of the carnage was known, a distraught Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern went on TV and told her nation, “I can tell you now this will be one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

Police detained 3 people for the attacks, but identified only 1 shooter, a 28-year-old Australian. He is charged with multiple counts of murder.

The shooter didn’t live in New Zealand, he only targeted it, apparently because it’s a peaceful country. He also had dreams of starting a civil war in the U.S., and took inspiration from mass shootings here.

He had published “a manifesto outlining his intentions” on social media before the attacks, according to the New Zealand Times. “In it, he espouses far-right ideology and anti-immigrant ideology,” and decried efforts to restrict guns in the U.S. NBC News reported the 74-page document “contains a sprawling array of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and white-supremacist references, repeating common far-right talking points.”

President Trump condemned the shootings and tweeted his “warmest sympathy and best wishes” to the people of New Zealand in the aftermath of the attacks.

This story was compiled from NBC News, CBS News, ABC News, BBC, Reuters, 1TV, the New Zealand Herald, and other sources.

 


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