Author: Pravin Menon
Wellington (Reuters)-New Zealand police shot and killed a “violent extremist” known to the authorities on Friday. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said he was stabbed and wounded in a supermarket At least six people.
Ardern said the attacker was a Sri Lankan national who had lived in New Zealand for 10 years, inspired by the Islamic State militant group, and was constantly under surveillance.
“A violent extremist carried out a terrorist attack on innocent New Zealanders,” Ardern said at a briefing.
“He is clearly a supporter of the Islamic State ideology,” she said, referring to the Islamic State.
Ardern said the assailant was unidentified and he had been an “interested person” for about five years, adding that he was killed within 60 seconds of the start of the attack in Oakland.
Shopper Michelle Miller told Stuff Online News that the police following the man thought he was going shopping at the New Lynn supermarket, but he took out a big knife and started “running around like a lunatic” and stabbed people.
Police Chief Andrew Coster said at the briefing that the man was acting alone and the police believed that the public would not be further threatened.
“We are doing everything possible to monitor him. The fact that we were able to intervene so quickly in about 60 seconds shows that we are paying close attention to him,” Coster said.
Since a white supremacist gunman killed 51 people in two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, 2019, New Zealand has remained vigilant about attacks.
When asked if Friday’s attack could be retaliation for the 2019 mosque shooting, Ardern said that it is not yet clear. She said people who are responsible for violence, not beliefs.
“This is hateful, this is wrong. This is carried out by individuals, not by faith,” Ardern said. “He is solely responsible for these actions.”
“It is wrong to convey any frustration to anyone but this person.”
‘Someone was stabbed’
A video posted on social media showed that a few seconds after the attacker attacked, there were shoppers in the supermarket.
“There is someone here with a knife…he has a knife,” a woman can be heard saying. “Someone was stabbed.”
Shortly before about 10 gunshots were fired, a guard asked people to leave the mall.
Ardern’s sympathetic response to the 2019 mosque shootings united her shocked country, but Friday’s violence may raise questions about why the attackers were allowed to remain free if the authorities suspected the attackers.
Ardern said the man did not commit any crimes that would lead to his arrest.
“If he commits a crime and puts him in jail, then he will be in jail. Unfortunately, he is not. That’s why he is constantly and constantly monitored and tracked,” she said. .
When asked if she was disappointed when she heard the news of the attack because the authorities knew about the man, she said: “Yes, because I know we have been doing our best…so I was completely Destroyed.”
The St. John’s Ambulance Service stated that of the six injured, three were in critical condition, one was in serious condition and two were in moderate condition.
Another witness, Amit Nand, told Newshub media that he saw the attacker and told him to put down the knife before the police arrived.
“This undercover policeman came to me…I’m going to beat him…The policeman was like’come back’ and he started shooting him,” Nande said.