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Jakarta Post

Six Indonesians were inside attacked New Zealand mosque: Foreign Ministry

  • Agnes Anya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, March 15, 2019   /   12:54 pm
Six Indonesians were inside attacked New Zealand mosque: Foreign Ministry An injured person is loaded into an ambulance following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday. (REUTERS/SNPA/Martin Hunter )

Six Indonesians were praying at Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, when a gunman opened fire on worshipers on Friday, the Foreign Ministry has said.

Dozens are believed dead, according to news reports.

Three Indonesian men were able to escape the shooting, but the whereabouts of the other three remain unknown, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said in Jakarta on Friday.

The minister has been coordinating with Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand Tantowi Yahya to monitor the situation.  

"A team from the embassy has been dispatched to Christchurch to seek information on our people who happened to be in the mosque, particularly the three who still cannot be contacted, " she said.

She added that the shooting occurred at 13:40 local time when Muslim men were performing Friday prayers at the mosque. 

"In the meantime, we have yet to receive any information on the identity of the perpetrators, as well as their motives," she said. 

According to Retno, there are 330 Indonesians living in Christchurch, 130 of whom are students. 

An attack on two crowded mosques during Friday prayers left multiple people dead, police said as quoted by AFP, on what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described as "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

Witnesses spoke of seeing bloodied bodies, with children also believed to be among the dead, and police warned of "extremely distressing footage" of the incident circulating on the internet.

Police said four people – three men and a woman – had been taken into custody, and that they had found and neutralized a number of improved explosive devices (IEDs).