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NZ Sri Lankan Society 'wholeheartedly condemns' terrorist attack

The Sri Lankan Society of New Zealand has "wholeheartedly" condemned the terrorist attack on Friday at a Countdown supermarket in the Auckland suburb of New Lynn. 

Police stand outside the site of a terrorist attack at a supermarket in Auckland. Source: Associated Press

Three people remain in a critical condition, while three others have also been hospitalised, after a violent extremist attacked them with a knife on Friday afternoon. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the man, a Sri Lankan national, arrived in New Zealand in 2011 and had been under heavy police surveillance since 2016. 

She said he was a known threat to New Zealand and stressed it was an individual behind the attack, not a culture or religion. 

"This was a violent attack, it was senseless and I'm so sorry it happened," Ardern said on Friday.

The terrorist was shot dead within roughly a minute of the attack started by two plain-clothed police officers. 

Society President Faleel Gaffoor said they were "deeply saddened" by yesterday's attack, and were hoping for speedy recoveries for the victims. 

"A terrorist who attacks innocent and defenceless people is not one of us," they said. "We wholeheartedly condemn the acts of violence carried out by this individual and his ideology." 

"This horrific act has no please in any religion, race or ethnicity." 

Gaffoor also thanked police and first responders at the scene "who had been working tirelessly to bring this situation under control."