New Zealand police arrest man in Christchurch after reports of bomb threat

A gunman killed 50 people in Christchurch mosque attack in March. (AFP/File)
Updated 30 April 2019

New Zealand police arrest man in Christchurch after reports of bomb threat

  • Police said the suspect is arrested and is being questioned by the police
  • Officials responded because of “threats about an explosive device”

WELLINGTON: New Zealand police arrested a man in Christchurch on Tuesday following reports of a possible bomb threat in the city, where 50 people were killed in attacks by a lone gunman on two mosques in March.

Police cordoned off streets in the Phillipstown area of the city on New Zealand’s South Island, with a bomb disposal team, ambulance and fire and emergency crews sent to the scene, according to a police statement.

“A 33-year-old man has been arrested and is currently speaking to police in regards to the incident,” the statement said.

A no-fly zone was also established, it said.

No further details were available about the nature of the incident but New Zealand media reported there had been a potential bomb threat.

The New Zealand Herald said police were called due to “threats about an explosive device.”

A spokesman for the St. John Ambulance service said an ambulance was on standby at the request of police but had not treated any patients.

Fifty people were killed and dozens wounded in attacks on the Al Noor and Linwood mosques during Friday prayers in Christchurch on March 15, the worst peace-time shooting in New Zealand history.

Authorities have charged Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, with 50 counts of murder.

The mosque attacks shook New Zealand to its core and prompted the government to quickly tighten gun laws.


UK’s Prince William reveals he’s been a helpline volunteer during coronavirus lockdown

Updated 14 min 28 sec ago

UK’s Prince William reveals he’s been a helpline volunteer during coronavirus lockdown

  • William is one of more than 2,000 volunteers who have been formally trained to help those in need
  • More than 300,000 text conversations have taken place between volunteers and people needing mental health support

LONDON: Britain’s Prince William has revealed that he has been anonymously helping out on a crisis helpline during the coronavirus lockdown.
The Duke of Cambridge’s work with Shout 85258 — an around-the-clock text messaging helpline developed by the Royal Foundation — was made public to mark Volunteers Week.
Last month, he told fellow volunteers in a video call that was shared on social media late Friday: “I’m going to share a little secret with you guys, but I’m actually on the platform volunteering.”
William, who is second in line to the throne, is one of more than 2,000 volunteers who have been formally trained to help those in need.
More than 300,000 text conversations have taken place between volunteers and people needing mental health support, with around 65% of those texting aged under 25.
William’s wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, has also been helping others by taking part in “check in and chat” calls with people self-isolating or vulnerable during the pandemic.