Six people were stabbed by a terrorist close to the Islamic State group on Friday in a supermarket in Auckland, New Zealand, before being shot dead by the police, who had placed him under surveillance, announced the Prime Minister New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern.
The man, a Sri Lankan who arrived in New Zealand in 2011 and was on a counterterrorism watch list, walked into a suburban Auckland shopping mall, grabbed a knife from a display and started stabbing passers-by, Jacinda Ardern said.
Six people were injured, three of them seriously, according to the Prime Minister, before police officers watching him opened fire within one minute of the attack. “What happened today was despicable, it was detestable, it was bad,” she said, adding that this act was not representative of any religion or any community. Asked about the aggressor’s motives, she explained: “it is a violent ideology inspired by the Islamic State group”.
Jacinda Ardern assured that she could not say everything publicly about this man who had been watched since 2016 after a court decision. The authorities believe that the man acted alone and that the population is no longer at risk, assured Police Commissioner Andrew Coster. New Zealand experienced its worst terrorist attack in March 2019 in Christchurch, when a white supremacist opened fire at two mosques, killing 51 people and injuring 40 others.