Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland today expressed shock and revulsion at the terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Patricia Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth

“On behalf of the Commonwealth family I convey my deepest sympathy to the people of New Zealand and to all those directly affected by the appalling acts of hate-fuelled violence that have been inflicted on the community in Christchurch.

“It is particularly shocking that such an attack should take place in houses of prayer, and our thoughts are with the families and others close to those who have been killed, or are casualties and suffering physical or mental distress. We salute the emergency services and all who are working to deal with the aftermath of this outrage.

“The people and nations of the Commonwealth, including New Zealand, work together to bring understanding and cohesion. And we will not be swayed from our collaboration and determination to build peace and understanding, and to counter violent extremism and hatred in all their forms and from whichever quarter they come.”

What We Know So Far About This Incident

  • Fifty (50) people were killed after shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • A man in his late twenties has been charged with murder. Three additional people were taken into custody.
  • “It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
  • Police found a number of improvised explosive devices strapped to vehicles.
  • A gunman appears to have live-streamed video of the attack online and left a lengthy racist manifesto where he outlined a white supremacist motivation for the attack and described the victims as “invaders.”
  • Police have gone to a property “of interest” in Dunedin, around 200 miles south of Christchurch.
  • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that one of the individuals taken into custody is an Australia-born citizen.
  • All mosques in the country were asked to “shut their doors” until further notice. Climate change rallies taking place across the city were evacuated.