New Zealand police evacuate neighbourhood amid mosque attack probe

Police cordon off the area in front of the Masjid al Noor mosque after a shooting incident in Christchurch on March 15, 2019. – Attacks on two Christchurch mosques left at least 49 dead on March 15, with one gunman — identified as an Australian extremist — apparently livestreaming the assault that triggered the lockdown of the New Zealand city. (Photo by Tessa BURROWS / AFP)


CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AFP) — New Zealand police investigating Friday’s mosque massacre in Christchurch have evacuated residents living near a property in the city of Dunedin that they believe is linked to the attacks, officials said.

Police said the property, located some 350 kilometres (220 miles) from Christchurch, was “of interest” in relation to the mosque attacks which left 49 dead.

“Evacuations of properties in the immediate area have taken place as a precaution,” police said in a statement. They did not provide further details.

Police earlier reported that two explosive devices had been found in a vehicle used by the gunman who carried out the attacks on the two mosques which also left 48 injured. The devices were disabled.

The gunman was arrested by police, who also took two other men into custody. It was not immediately known what their link may have been to Dunedin, about a four-and-a-half hour drive south of Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island.

© Agence France-Presse