NZ attacker shot dead after wounding at least six

New Zealand police shot and killed a man on Friday after he stabbed and wounded at least six people in a supermarket in the city of Auckland.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the man a 'violent extremist'.

"What happened today was despicable. It was hateful. It was wrong. It was carried out by an individual, not a faith, not a culture, not an ethnicity but an individual person who was gripped by ideology that is not supported here, by anyone or any community."

She said he was a supporter of the Islamic State militant group.

The attacker, who was not been named, but has been identified as a Sri Lankan national who has lived in the country for 10 years, had been a "person of interest" for about five years, Ardern said, and "monitored constantly."

He was killed within 60 seconds of beginning his attack.

Police following the man thought he had gone into the supermarket to do some shopping, but he pulled out what one witness described as a large knife and started stabbing people.

Police said the attacker was acting alone and they were confident there was no further threat to the public.

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