Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi strongly condemned the Friday terrorist attacks on two mosques in New Zealand that left at least 49 people dead, calling for punishing those behind the “racist” and “savage” move.
In a statement on Friday, the spokesman deplored the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch as “inhumane and totally savage”.
“Every terrorist act, wherever and by anyone and under any pretext and incentive, should be condemned by all countries,” Qassemi said, adding, “Governments should not allow racist and anti-Islamic currents and thoughts to endanger the security and peace of the citizens of the countries.”
The Iranian spokesman further called on the New Zealand government to identify and punish culprits behind the racist move.
The mass shootings left up to 49 people dead, as New Zealand police defused several improvised explosive devices found attached to vehicles in Christchurch area.
New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said that four people had been taken into custody, three men and one woman.
Bush said several explosives had been attached to vehicles. He added that there is no assumption the attack was contained to Christchurch, CNBC news reported.
“This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” said the country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern. “Clearly what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”
Witnesses told media that a man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit, and carrying an automatic rifle had started randomly shooting people in the Al Noor mosque.
A second shooting took place at Linwood Masjid, where a witness says they saw a man leave the mosque wearing camouflage gear and a motorcycle helmet, while unconfirmed reports indicate a bomb was found on nearby Strickland Ave.
A Muslim local reportedly chased the gunmen off from the Linwood mosque, firing two shots at them as they drove off.