Forty-nine people have been killed and at least 20 wounded in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the gunman, who had Australian citizenship, as an “extremist, right-wing” terrorist.
Four people – three men and one woman – were detained in connection with the shooting, New Zealand police said, bbc.com reports.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called it one of New Zealand’s “darkest days”.
New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush confirmed that “multiple fatalities” were recorded at two locations.
The first report of an attack came from the Al Noor mosque, located in central Christchurch. Witnesses told local media they ran for their lives, and saw people bleeding on the ground outside the building.
A second mosque in the suburb of Linwood was evacuated, but there were fewer details from that site. Police also defused “a number of IEDs (explosive devices) attached to vehicles”, Mr Bush said.
Authorities advised all mosques in the city to shut down until further notice. Armed police were also seen at Papanui High School in Christchurch, which was cordoned off.
Name of a Romanian ruler on a charger used in the attack
The name of Şerban Cantacuzino, who was Prince of Wallachia in the 17th century, appears on one of the chargers used by the attackers at Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, hotnews.ro reports.
On the same charger is also the name of Marko Miljanov Popović, a Montenegrin general who fought against the Ottomans in the second half of the 19th century and Stefan Lazar, probably a Serbian tsar who fought with the Turks in the 14th century.
On another charger is written Vienna 1683, referring to the Ottoman siege in that year, to which Cantacuzino participated on the part of the Turks. Chroniclers wrote that his cannonballs were filled with hay and straws so they would not harm the Christians, according to Wikipedia.
Șerban Cantacuzino (1640–1688) was a Prince of Wallachia between 1678 and 1688.
Cantacuzino took part in the Ottoman campaign which ended in their defeat at the Battle of Vienna, according to Wikipedia. At the same time, it is alleged that he conceived a plan for a march on Constantinople, planning to drive the Ottomans out of Europe, counting on support from major European states. During the siege of Vienna, after being forced to join the war alongside the Ottoman Empire, he sabotaged his Turkish “allies” by warning the Austrians beforehand about the siege. He was also informing them about the Ottoman plans, movements and tactics (in a hidden tunnel beneath the city’s walls), stalling bridge repairs across the Danube (since before that the Turks considered the Wallachians unreliable when it came to war matters) and finally ordering his men to put hay & straw inside the Turkish cannons so that the damage on the walls of Vienna would be minimized. He also planted a cross with a double meaning in which he offered moral support to the besieged Austrians while at the same time, avoiding Ottoman suspicion. As a result he received praise from General Wallenstein and the Habsburg Emperor himself and also earned the title of “Defender (or Count) of the Holy Roman Empire”. Thanks to his contributions and the Polish intervention, Vienna was saved. The Imperials therefore promised him the throne to Constantinople after the Turks were driven out.
Cantacuzino introduced maize to Wallachia (southern Romania). In time the staple food – it was not yet extensively cultivated during his reign. He agreed to the establishment of various printing presses, and ordered the famous Romanian edition of the Bible (the Cantacuzino Bible), first published in Bucharest (1688).
His son Gheorghe Cantacuzino later ruled as Ban of Oltenia, and was married to Ruxandra Rosetti.
He died suddenly, and there is further speculation that he was in fact poisoned by boyars who resented his vast, unrealistic and dangerous projects (presumably by his brother and nephew), Wikipedia also reads.
Photo 1: Twitter; photo 2: Wikipedia