At Least 49 Dead, 48 Injured in New Zealand Mosque Shootings

At Least 49 Dead, 48 Injured in New Zealand Mosque Shootings

At Least 49 Dead, 48 Injured in New Zealand Mosque Shootings

Brenton Tarrant, charged for murder in relation to the mosque attacks, is lead into the dock for his appearance in the Christchurch District Court, New Zealand March 16, 2019.

Self-professed fascist occasionally turned to look and smirked at media present in court during the brief hearing that was held behind closed doors for security reasons.

In the wake of a terror attack on two Christchurch mosques that took the lives of 49 people and injured at least 20, people have been expressing their sympathies for the victims by leaving flowers at local mosques in New Zealand and around the world. One person has been arrested and charged with murder. The police said there were also multiple improvised explosive devices attached to vehicles as part of the attack.

NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller said Australian police would investigate to help New Zealand authorities and also "make sure that he hasn't slipped through the cracks" in Australia, but said there were "no links back to New South Wales at the moment".

Police say homes around a "location of interest" in Dunedin have been evacuated as a precaution. The gunman in question demonstrated ties to numerous extreme-right ideologies and individuals in his manifesto and livestream of the attack, during which he mentioned the YouTuber.

He said he was a 28-year-old white Australian and a racist.

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After going back outside and shooting a woman there, he gets back in his auto, where the song "Fire" by the English rock band The Crazy World of Arthur Brown can be heard blasting.

One man who said he was at the Al Noor mosque told media the gunman burst into the mosque as worshippers were kneeling for prayers.

Before Ms Ardern's announcement, former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark told the ABC that while the country had gun control, there was room for improvement.

Ardern called the shooting a terrorist attack and described it as "well-planned".

Last year, New Zealand's prime minister announced that the country would boost its annual refugee quota from 1,000 to 1,500 in 2020. About an hour after police initially responded, they reported that a "serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter". "They are us." She said the attack reflected "extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand".

New Zealand, with 5 million people, has relatively loose gun laws but few gun homicides.

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Police did not immediately say whether the same person was responsible for both shootings.

He had livestreamed the shooting on Facebook.

Christchurch, a relatively small city on New Zealand's south island, hit global headlines in 2011 when it was struck by a deadly quake, killing more than 180 people.

The visiting Bangladesh cricket team was arriving for prayers at one of the mosques when the shooting started but all members were safe, a team coach told Reuters.

In a brief statement on Twitter this morning, the prime minister said Canadians join New Zealanders and Muslim communities around the world in grieving.

"About 40 years ago we had an attack in a rural community in Aramoana but that was not, as this was, politically motivated and far fewer people died then".

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