World News

Man spared in New Zealand massacre fled violence in native Afghanistan

Man spared in New Zealand massacre fled violence in native Afghanistan

Brenton Tarrant, 28, accused of carrying out attacks on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday that resulted in the deaths of at least 50 people, including children, appeared in court on Saturday charged with murder.

At a news conference on Saturday afternoon local time, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said authorities would release more information on the victims soon. Christchurch Hospital continued to care for 36 wounded in the shootings, including 11 critically injured.

After Tarrant left, the judge said that while "there is one charge of murder brought at the moment, it is reasonable to assume that there will be others".

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier confirmed that one of the four people taken into custody is Australian.

People gather at a vigil to mourn for the victims of the Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand, at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., March 15, 2019.

Ardern, who described the atrocity as a "terrorist attack" and "one of New Zealand's darkest days", vowed to impose stricter gun laws.

In a video filmed from his hospital bed Alsati asked people to "please pray for me and my daughter", who has been flown to Auckland for treatment. Afghanistan's embassy in Canberra named Nabi as one of two Afghans killed in the attack.

Tarrant was remanded without a plea until his next scheduled appearance in the South Island city's High Court on April 5.

Jacinda Ardern reiterated to the public on Saturday morning that the country's gun law will be changed.

Nine people from India or of Indian origin have gone missing, the Indian envoy in New Zealand has said.

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"I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch today", she said.

The Pacific has reacted with sadness and shown solidarity for New Zealand after at least 49 people were killed in shootings at two Christchurch mosques yesterday.

"The man in the vehicle has been charged with firearms offences".

- AP In this photo released by New Zealand Prime Minister's Office, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to representatives of the Muslim community, Saturday, March 16, 2019 at the Canterbury Refugee Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Questions have been raised about why Tarrant had not appeared on a watchlist of New Zealand or Australian security agencies.

Bishop of Polynesia - The Most Reverend Fereimi Cama said the Anglican Diocese of Polynesia unequivocally condemned this act of terrorism.

She did not offer too much detail, but said a ban on semi-automatic weapons would be looked at.

Tarrant did not apply for bail, and per ABC News reports, did not apply to have his name suppressed. 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. Tarrant had a category-A gun license which meant he could legally buy the weapons he used, although there are suggestions the guns were altered to make them more lethal, Ardern told reporters.

The firearms included two semi-automatic rifles, two shotguns and a lever-action weapon, she said, speaking to reporters in Wellington before heading to Christchurch. "These acts of hate have no place in the diverse and tolerant society for which New Zealand is justly known", the White House statement said.


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