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'Suspicious package' shutters New Zealand's Dunedin airport

Christchurch, Agencies | Updated : 17 March 2019, 04:25 PM
The Christchurch gunman, an Australian extremist, is believed to have lived in Dunedin. (Photo: Wikipedia)
The Christchurch gunman, an Australian extremist, is believed to have lived in Dunedin. (Photo: Wikipedia)

New Zealand police closed Dunedin airport late Sunday after a suspicious device was reported on the airfield. “Dunedin Airport is currently closed” a statement said. “Police are at the scene and specialist teams have been deployed to determine the nature of the package.” New Zealand is currently on a state of high alert after the Christchurch mosques shooting. The gunman, a white extremist from Australia, is believed to have lived in Dunedin.

An Air New Zealand staff member on the scene, who was not authorised to speak to the press, told AFP the terminal building had not been evacuated. Only a handful of flights were due to arrive to the airport in the southeastern city, as the scare came in the late evening. According to tracker FlightAware, Air New Zealand flight 691 from Wellington had been circling about the city for almost an hour before returning to its destination.

As many as 50 people, including five Indians, were killed and 42 others sustained serious injuries after a white supremacist opened fire on worshippers at two Christchurch mosques - the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Masjid Mosque.

The gunman live streamed the horrific attack as he shot victims at Al Noor Mosque. "It is a terrorist attack," the shooter had said in the live video while he continued firing indiscriminately at people inside the Al Noor Mosque.

First Published: Sunday, March 17, 2019 04:23 PM
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