Christchurch: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a letter to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, extended condolences to families bereaved in the ghastly attack that took place in Christchurch killing as many as 49 people.
"Prime Minister has expressed his deep shock and sadness at the loss of scores of innocent lives in the heinous terrorist attack at the places of worship in Christchurch today," stated a press release.
The press release further read, "In a letter addressed to H. E. Ms. Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, he expressed his deepest condolences to the families bereaved in this dastardly attack, offered heartfelt prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured and underscored India’s solidarity with the friendly people of New Zealand at this difficult time."
Condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, Prime Minister Modi stressed that hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted, "Our Mission is in touch with local authorities to ascertain more details. It is a sensitive matter and therefore we can't give confirmed numbers/names till we are absolutely certain."
The Bangladesh cricket team members, who were in New Zealand for the third Test match with New Zealand, had a narrow escape as they were barred from getting off their bus when they arrived to offer prayers at the Al Noor mosque which was attacked. Meanwhile, the Test scheduled to start on Saturday has been cancelled.
As many as 49 people died when unidentified armed perpetrators opened indiscriminate fire at people in two mosques here.
According to the police, 41 people were killed at Deans Avenue mosque and seven at Linwood mosque while one injured died in hospital.
One of the perpetrators allegedly live-streamed 17 minutes of the shooting, where he can be seen entering the mosque and shooting at those congregated. He can be seen blocking the hallway so that nobody escapes. He stopped several times to reload, before exiting the mosque through the front door and shooting at the cars passing by, reports The New Zealand Herald. The shooter returned to a station wagon to get more ammunition, before re-entering the mosque to check for survivors.
Several guns have been recovered from both mosques, while, two explosive devices were found on two vehicles at the scene, one of which was defused, the police confirmed.
Christchurch hospital alone is currently treating 48 people, from young children to adults, with gunshot wounds.