New Zealand supermarket stabbing: Government to toughen anti-terror laws

New Zealand supermarket stabbing: Government to toughen anti-terror laws

Seven people were injured, three critically, in Auckland by a known supporter of Islamic State.


New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has vowed to toughen anti-terror laws following Friday's knife attack in Auckland by a man who was under police surveillance.

"We must be willing to make the changes that we know may not necessarily have changed history, but could change the future," she said at a news briefing.

The man, a Sri Lankan national, stabbed seven people in a supermarket. Three of them are in a critical condition.

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The attacker, a known supporter of Islamic State, was shot dead by police.

Ms Ardern, who described the stabbings as a "terrorist attack", said she expected that changes to the country's counter-terrorism legislation would be backed by parliament by the end of September.

The attacker had been arrested a number of times before Friday's incident. But Ms Ardern said that every legal avenue to keep him out of the community had been exhausted.

How did the attack unfold?

It happened at the Countdown supermarket at LynnMall in the Auckland district of New Lynn on Friday afternoon.

A surveillance team and a specialist tactics group had followed the man from his home to the supermarket. But while there were concerns about the him, officials said they had no reason to think he was planning an attack on Friday, and the team believed he was going to do his grocery shopping.

After entering the store, however, the attacker got hold of a knife and went on a stabbing spree.