Death toll from New zealand's Christchurch mosque attacks rises to 49

Enlarge Image A New Zealand judge ordered

Enlarge Image A New Zealand judge ordered

"The offender was mobile, there were two other firearms in the vehicle that the offender was in, and it absolutely was his intention to continue with his attack", Ardern told reporters in Christchurch on Saturday. Two more dead bodies were on the street in front of the mosque.

Bush confirmed that a further 20 people were injured in what is now the worst mass shooting in New Zealand history.

New Zealand's Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio said he spoke to one of the Trustees of the Festival last night about the decision, and why it was made.

"But in doing so, it was an attack on all peace loving peoples, on all innocent peoples".

Haji was a grandfather-of-nine who also founded a mosque and had become the president of a local Afghan association in Christchurch.

Speaking in Sydney, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the gunman as "an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist". "And he should be, frankly, ashamed of himself" he said.

New Zealand police said at least 49 people were killed Friday at two mosques in the picturesque South Island city of Christchurch.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the attacks a "brazen act of terror".

The suspect has been identified as 28-year-old Brenton Harrison Tarrant.

Tributes in Christchurch following the attack.

New Zealand is not a Utopia, there are occasional reports of racism and anti-immigrant attitudes, but they attract headlines because they are not the norm. A four-year-old girl has been transferred to the Starship Hospital in Auckland.

Ardern, who flew to Christchurch on Saturday, said she had spoken to Trump, who had asked how he could help. He assured all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his "heartfelt solidarity".

United Kingdom counter-terrorism chief Neil Basu has issued a statement insisting they are monitoring the "varied threats" Britain faces in light of the mosque killings, which New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has described as a "terrorist attack".

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Their primary concern was being able to lay their loved ones to rest.

"It's a fine line between telling the children this is the reality of it", he said, "and not exposing them to the true nature of humanity that can lead to this sort of thing".

"All of those (involved) know just how important it is to families for them to be reunited with their loved ones as quickly as they can".

"When I heard the shots, it was the shooter aiming at the people in the rooms".

"If this evil thinks we will stop going to our mosque here or stop doing our worship to our god, Allah, we never ever can not stop", Linwood mosque Imam Ibrahim Abdelhalim told reporters outside.

"As Christians we Cook Islanders have come to accept the church as a place of refuge, of safety and of comfort".

Although shops were shuttered and many chose to stay at home, Christchurch residents piled bouquets of flowers at a makeshift memorial near the Al Noor mosque, many accompanied with handwritten letters laden with sadness and disbelief.

New Zealand now has no ban on semi-automatic military-style weapons.

Messages of support near the Al Noor mosque.

In signs police say show a well-planned attack, army personnel were also called in to dismantle explosive devices found in a stopped auto and officers were on Friday evening searching a house in Dunedin, 360 kilometres away, clearing nearby homes for safety.

There are an estimated 1.5 million firearms in New Zealand, which has a population of only five million, but the country has had low levels of gun violence.

At least 49 people were killed and dozens more injured when the gunman went on a rampage at the mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre on Linwood Avenue. He did not request bail and was taken into custody until his next court appearance which is scheduled for April 5. He was wearing a tunic and was handcuffed.

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