The stabbing at a supermarket in Auckland, New Zealand, was a terrorist attack, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. A man injured six people before being shot and killed by police. He is said to have been inspired by Islamic State (IS).
The man came to New Zealand from Sri Lanka in 2011 and has been under surveillance since 2016. Details on that have not yet been released. However, Ardern emphasized at a press conference that one person carried out the attack under the spell of an “ideology that is not supported by anyone here”. The suspect acted alone, according to police.
Three of the six victims are in critical condition in hospital. A fourth person was seriously injured. Witnesses previously told New Zealand media that several people were lying on the floor with stab wounds. Videos show people running away from the supermarket and warning others about “a perpetrator with a knife”.
Serious incidents of violence are rare in New Zealand, and it is rare for officers – who normally do not carry weapons – to shoot suspects.
However, Auckland, the country’s largest city, is currently in a very strict lockdown due to an outbreak of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which means residents are only allowed to leave their homes to go to the supermarket, doctor, or doctor hospital.