Saturday, 23 March, 2019

New Zealand mosque attack death toll rises to 50

New Zealand,Christchurch,Jacinda Ardern Mourners lays flowers on a wall at the Botanical Gardens in Christchurch New Zealand Saturday
Ellis Copeland | 17 March, 2019, 07:09

Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian citizen, appeared in a Christchurch District Court Saturday.

The two-year-old boy was reported to be in stable condition, as was the 13-year-old.

Footage of the attack live streamed on Facebook showed the gunman entering the mosque and shooting randomly at people.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her office received a "manifesto" from the gunman suspected of killing 50 people in two Christchurch mosques minutes before Friday's attack. Police said further charges were expected to follow.

They included Asif Shaikh, 44, who said he was among more than 100 people at the Al Noor mosque when the attacker came in. Christchurch Hospital on Saturday said most of the victims were men aged between 30 and 60, but children and women were also involved.

Tarrant is scheduled to appear in court again on April 5.

A leader is never more needed or valued as in a time of crisis, and for the people of Christchurch and New Zealand their Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been a pillar of strength.

Police urged all mosques across New Zealand to stay closed over the weekend for security reasons.

The manifesto also said he chose to make his attack in New Zealand to show that nowhere in the world was safe. He said his mother, who was at the Linwood mosque with his father and brother, saw two people shot.

The video of Ardern's press conference in Wellington was published online by local broadcaster.

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A short distance away, 39 people were being treated in hospital for gunshot wounds and other injuries inflicted in the massacre. He said his mother, who was at the Linwood mosque with his father and brother, saw two people shot.


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None of the bodies of the victims were immediately released due to the investigation, leaving families unable to bury their dead within the 24 hours customary in Islam.

The New Zealand premier said that he had been in possession of a "Category A" gun licence obtained in 2017. "There were two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns". Tarrant did not apply to have the judge suppress his name from the media, Australian broadcaster ABC reports.

"Any loss of life at the hands of extremists regardless of religion, race or colour should be condemned in the strongest of terms".

On Monday, government officials plan to hold a cabinet meeting which will "focus on the ease with which legal weapons can be modified to become military-style assault rifles, which are more strictly controlled".

Police Association President Chris Cahill backed tighter gun laws, saying the weapons used in the mosque shootings were banned in Australia after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 in which 35 people were gunned down.

The Pacific Islands Association of non-governmental Organisations (PIANGO) also expressed its "heartfelt grief and sorrow" over the attacks.

They shared a video message from musicians SOL3MIO, who dedicated a song to "New Zealand, and to family and friends".

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush on Sunday told reporters four other people arrested during Friday's police operation attack have either been released or charged with "tangential" offences.

"You may have chosen us", Ardern said, addressing the suspect. "Rhetoric of racism, division and extremism has no place not only in New Zealand but I would say in a society as a whole".

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