World News

As New Zealand shooter appears in court, world rallies behind Muslim communities

As New Zealand shooter appears in court, world rallies behind Muslim communities

Just one day after the deadly attacks that claimed the lives of 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the country's prime minister has declared that the government will be working toward gun law changes immediately.

At a press conference in Wellington on Sunday, Ardern said she would discuss tightening gun access with her cabinet on Monday, and planned to "verify" information that some New Zealanders were stockpiling weapons.

The head of the New Zealand Police Association, Chris Cahill, welcomed Ardern's comments and said previous attempts to introduce gun controls had failed partly because of diehard opponents to reform.

Islamic custom dictates that the deceased should be buried within 24 hours, but authorities said the complex investigation into the massacre of 50 worshippers during Friday prayers made a quick process hard.

A total of four people were detained in the wake of the attack, including the 28-year-old suspected shooter, Australian national Brenton Harrison Tarrant.

Aziz, originally from Afghanistan, said he picked up one of the gunman's discarded weapons and threatened the man, who drove off.

Forty-nine people were killed and dozens more were left injured in two separate attacks on two mosques in Christchurch.

Police officers search the area near the Masjid Al Noor mosque, site of one of the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019.

More news: Bangladesh cricket team escapes NZ mosque shooting

"The magnitude of this is the thing that is the most significant issue for people".

"They are not telling us anything", Bhuiyan's friend Kaniz Fatima told AFP, adding that the 30-year-old's name was not on a preliminary list of victims given to families late on Saturday. "Rhetoric of racism, division and extremism has no place not only in New Zealand but I would say in a society as a whole".

Tarrant's occupation was not given on the charging document, and his address was provided as a place in Dunedin, more than 300 km south of Christchurch in New Zealand's South Island. One person died in hospital.

Pakistan's high commissioner said six citizens had been killed and three were missing. She said her office sent it to parliamentary security two minutes after getting it.

Facebook, Twitter and Google scrambled to take down the gunman's video, which was widely available on social media for hours after the bloodbath. He was hoping semi-automatics were not banned, but he and his shooting friends were buying the weapons, which can cost anything from NZ$600 (US$400) upwards.

He also reached out to the Muslim community in Christchurch and in New Zealand.

Ardern has vowed to change the country's gun laws and to uncover how a self-avowed extremist legally purchased two semi-automatic weapons, reportedly AR-15s, two shotguns and a lever-action gun without drawing the attention of the authorities.

Civilians in New Zealand own an estimated 1.2m firearms, according to the 2017 small arms survey.