CIEE Security Alert – New Zealand (UPDATE)
According to media reports on Friday, 15 March, at least 40 people have been killed and over 20 others have been seriously injured following shootings at the Masjid Al Noor Mosque at Hagley Park and the Linwood Masjid Mosque in Linwood, Christchurch. Reports indicate that at least one gunman targeted worshippers at the Al Noor Mosque as they conducted prayers and police reported a second attack at the Linwood Mosque, however the nature of the second attack is yet to be confirmed. At least four people have been detained by police in connection with the attacks, however, police have stated that other assailants may be at large. Police have stated that a number of explosive devices were attached to vehicles in the area and these have been disarmed by security forces. A number of schools within Christchurch in addition to Christchurch Hospital and Christchurch City Council were also subject to a lockdown as security operations continue and although the lockdown on schools has been lifted, it is unclear if other restrictions have also been ended. Localized road closures have also been enforced by police. The incident has been described by the Prime Minister of the country as a terrorist incident and authorities have also announced that the national security threat level has been raised from low to high.
All CIEE participants in New Zealand are confirmed to be safe. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in contact with our participants to ensure their ongoing safety.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-40-STUDY.