New Zealand: Bomb scare and an arrest in Christchurch | News | DW | 30.04.2019
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New Zealand: Bomb scare and an arrest in Christchurch

New Zealand police have "rendered safe" a suspected explosive device at an abandoned property in Christchurch. The country is on edge following a mass shooting at two mosques in March.

New Zealand police arrested a man in Christchurch on Thursday following reports of a suspicious item at a property in the city, where 50 people at two mosques were killed by a lone gunman in March.

Police said a 33-year-old man was being questioned in relation to the incident in a residential neighborhood of the city.

"Police have located a package containing a suspected explosive device and ammunition at a vacant address," Canterbury District Commander Superintendent John Price said in a statement. 

"The NZDF EOD [NZ Defence Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal] team have rendered the package safe," he said.

Streets have been cordoned off and a no-fly zone was put in place over the area, with bomb disposal units and ambulances at the scene.

On March 15, a suspected white supremacist gunman killed 50 people and wounded dozens more at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques during Friday prayers. It was the worst such massacre in New Zealand's history. 

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, has been charged with 50 counts of murder. 

The shootings prompted the government to swiftly strengthen gun laws. 

cw/msh (Reuters, dpa)


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