Terrorist attack leaves six dead

Reuters

New Zealand police killed the perpetrator of a terrorist attack that today (3) injured six people in a supermarket in Auckland city. Three are in serious condition. The man, a Sri Lankan national who had been in New Zealand for ten years, attacked people in the supermarket with a knife.

“It was a violent and pointless attack on innocent New Zealanders,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference. Arden called the attack a terrorist. He also said that the “extremist” was known to the authorities.

“What happened today was despicable, it was hateful, it was wrong,” he said.

The terrorist action was, according to the authorities, inspired by the actions of the extremist group Islamic State.

The man was being monitored 24 hours a day and, at the time of the attack, was being followed.

“It had been seen as a threat since 2016”, but “by law it could not be kept in prison,” said the prime minister.

Auckland is in strict confinement to fight an outbreak of the new coronavirus. Most businesses are closed, and people are generally allowed to leave their homes just to go to groceries, medical needs, or exercise.

A video of one of the customers, posted on social media, shows the moment when a security guard asks people to leave the store. A little later ten shots are heard.

New Zealand has been on the alert for terrorist attacks since 51 people were murdered in two mosques in the city of Christchurch in 2019.