Saturday, 23 March, 2019

10 mins before attack, New Zealand mosque attacker mailed manifesto to PM

Brenton Tarrant appears in court Dupatta-wearing New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern hailed for expressing solidarity with Muslims
Leonard Rios | 17 March, 2019, 08:02

A suspect in the mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques on Friday appeared in court on Saturday and was charged with murder. Worshippers, possibly dead or wounded, lay on the floor, the video showed.

"This is one of New Zealand's darkest days", New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had said.

"I want to give assurances that [if it had] provided details that could have been acted upon immediately, it would have been", she said.

Mass shootings and violent crime are rare in New Zealand, a country of almost 5 million people.

Although authorities have not released an official list of victims, a list of missing persons has been published on New Zealand's Red Cross website.

Christchurch Hospital Head of Surgery Dr Greg Robertson described how he watched the first victims arrive in private cars, followed by ambulance after ambulance. A fourth person who was apprehended but has since been released as he "was a member of the public who was in possession of a firearm, but with the intention of assisting police".

A few hundred demonstrators have protested the New Zealand mosque shootings outside Istanbul's Hagia Sophia - a Byzantine-era cathedral that was turned into a mosque and now serves as a museum.

According to the police, 41 people were killed at Al Noor mosque and seven at Linwood mosque while one injured died in a hospital.

On Facebook, a user named Alta Marie said her husband Zulfirman Syah and her son were both shot at the Linwood Mosque. - AP Mourners pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019.

The victims of Friday's shooting included immigrants from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

PewDiePie 'sickened' by mention in New Zealand shootings video
Police found multiple explosive devices in vehicles stopped as the shootings unfolded; the devices have since been defused. He tweeted: "Our hearts go out to the people of New Zealand following the news of this awful act in Christchurch ".

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Though the attack caused no damage or injuries, it was a significant escalation and set the stage for a tough Israeli reprisal. Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahalon said on Twitter that Israel "would respond as necessary" to the rocket attack.

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The terrorist who led an attack in which 50 people were gunned down in two mosques is believed to have travelled to Britain on a two-month tour of Europe which galvinised his extremism, the Telegraph can reveal. "Forgiving is going to take time", Omar Nabi, whose father Haji Daoud Nabi was gunned down, told reporters outside the Christchurch court.

Minute silences, vigils and prayers continue across the globe as millions struggle to come to terms with the worst peacetime mass shooting in New Zealand history.

Hagen Hopkins via Getty ImagesPrime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament on Friday.

Anyone can use an A Category firearm without a licence [sic] if they are under the immediate supervision of a licence [sic] holder. Tarrant said nothing, entered no plea to the charge and did not apply to have his name withheld.

Armed police were deployed at several locations in all cities, unusual in a country where levels of gun violence are low. The minimum legal age to own a gun in New Zealand is 16, or 18 for military-style semi-automatic weapons.

The prime minister recalled that there were attempts to change the gun laws in New Zealand back in 2005, 2012 and in 2017.

Another 50 people were injured in the shootings.

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

"She was engaged, she was concerned, she knew what to say", one of the attendees said.

"My message was, "Sympathy and love for all Muslim communities".

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