Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that the shooter in the Christchurch mosque attack was an Australian citizen, describing the suspect as an "extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist."
"I can confirm that the individual who was taken into custody I have been advised is an Australian-born citizen," he told reporters.
"As family members with our New Zealand cousins today, we grieve, we are shocked, we are appalled, we are outraged, and we stand here and condemn absolutely the attack that occurred today by an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist," Scott Morrison added.
A gunman opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing more than 40 people and injuring dozens of others, the New Zealand Herald reported, citing New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack," she said. "From what we know, it does appear to have been well planned."
According to Jacinda Ardern, 10 people were killed at Linwood Avenue Mosque and 30 at the Deans Ave mosque near Hagley Park.
Meanwhile, New Zealand's health authority reported that at least 48 people are currently in hospital in Christchurch being treated for gunshot wounds.
"Forty-eight patients, ranging from young children to adults with gunshot wounds are being treated at Christchurch Hospital. Injuries range from critical to minor. Additional patients with gunshot wounds presented to other health facilities in the community," the health authority said.
The authorities have identified the shooter as 28-year-old Australian-born man Brenton Tarrant, according to local media reports.
The man who killed or injured dozens of people in a mosque in New Zealand streamed the shooting for 17 minutes, the New Zealand Herald reported earlier on Friday.
Before the shooting, the man uploaded a 73-page manifesto explaining in detail why he'd committed the massacre, according to local media reports.
The shooting happened in the afternoon on Friday, the Stuff news outlet reported. The outlet added, citing former president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury, Mohammed Jama, that around 01:40 p.m. local time on Friday, a gunman entered a mosque in Christchurch and opened fire as around 300 people were inside the building praying.