ISIS-inspired terrorist shot dead after stabbing 6 in New Zealand: PM Jacinda Arden
Addressing the media, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said, “This afternoon, a violent extremist undertook a terrorist attack on innocent New Zealanders in the New Lynn countdown in Auckland,” reported AFP.
The New Zealand police on Friday shot dead a man who stabbed six people in a lone-wolf stabbing attack at a supermarket in Auckland, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Addressing the media, Arden said, “This afternoon, a violent extremist undertook a terrorist attack on innocent New Zealanders in the New Lynn countdown in Auckland,” reported AFP.
According to an AFP report, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was "gutted" the man, a Sri Lankan national, had managed to carry out his "hateful" assault even though he was on a terror watchlist.
She said the man, who arrived in New Zealand in 2011, entered a shopping mall in suburban Auckland, seized a knife from a display before going on a stabbing spree, adding that he had been inspired by the ISIL (ISIS) group.
Six people were wounded, three critically, in the 60 seconds before surveillance officers opened fire, the report further stated.
Of the wounded people, three were in critical condition, one in serious condition and another in moderate condition, the St John Ambulance service said in a statement to the Reuters news agency.
Witnesses told reporters outside the mall that they had seen several people lying on the floor with stab wounds. Others said they heard gunshots as they ran out of the supermarket.
Videos posted online earlier showed panicked shoppers running out of the mall and looking for cover.
The attack has stirred painful memories of the Christchurch mosques shootings in March 2019, New Zealand's worst terror atrocity, when a white supremacist gunman murdered 51 Muslim worshippers and severely wounded another 40.
"What happened today was despicable, it was hateful, it was wrong," Ardern said after the latest attack, AFP reported.
"It was carried out by an individual, not a faith, not a culture, not an ethnicity. He alone carries the responsibility for these acts."
Asked about the man's motivations, she said "it was a violent ideology and ISIS-inspired", using an acronym for the Islamic State jihadist group, according to an AFP report.
(With inputs from agencies)
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