New Zealand police arrest two for threat to mosques attacked in 2019


(Reuters) - New Zealand police said on Thursday they have arrested two people following a threat made against the mosques that were the scene of mass murder by a white supremacist nearly two years ago.

Police said an online threat was made earlier this week against the Al Noor mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre, which were targeted in New Zealand's most deadly shooting in 2019.

No information about the nature of the threat was supplied and neither suspect has been named. No charges have yet been laid, police said.

"Any messages of hate or people wanting to cause harm in our community will not be tolerated - it's not the Kiwi way," said John Price, Canterbury District Commander Superintendent in an emailed statement.

New Zealand is heightened alert ahead of the March 15 anniversary of Christchurch attack. Armed with high-capacity semi-automatic weapons, Australian Brenton Tarrant killed 51 people and injured dozens more after opening fire on worshippers at the two mosques, livestreaming the attacks on Facebook before being arrested.

In August, Tarrant was sentenced to life in prison without parole, the first time New Zealand confined anyone for the rest of their life.

(Reporting by Colin Packham in Canberra; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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