Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a message to New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, offering condolences over a deadly terrorist attack in the city of Christchurch, where shooters targeted worshippers at two mosques, the Kremlin press service said.
"It was brutal and cynical attack on civilians who had gathered for prayers," the message reads. "I expect that all those involved in this crime will receive the punishment they deserve," Putin added. According to him, the Russian people share the grief of those who lost their loved ones and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded.
Shooters opened fire in the Al-Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch at about 13:45 local time (01:45 GMT) on Friday. The attacks killed at least 49 and left over 20 wounded. Police also found and disabled two homemade explosive devices attached to cars parked near the mosques. Four suspects - three men and a woman - were taken to custody. However, police say there were reasons to believe that not all of the attackers had been apprehended.