Published: Sat, March 16, 2019

‘Gun laws will change’: New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern after mosque massacre

‘Gun laws will change’: New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern after mosque massacre

Two of the guns were semi-automatic weapons and two were shotguns, she said, before telling media members that the attack would have an impact on gun laws in the country.

At least 49 people were killed and dozens injured in the unprecedented attack that stunned the nation and the world.

Shackled and wearing a white smock, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, appeared in court Saturday morning charged with murder.

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.

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

His court-appointed lawyer made no application for bail or name suppression. The shock was exacerbated by the fact Tarrant livestreamed his actions from a camera mounted to his helmet, sparking anger at social media platforms and the length of time it took them to remove the videos.

Numerous victims hailed from around the world.

The victims of Friday's shooting included immigrants from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indonesia, and Malaysia. At least two Jordanian citizens were killed and five others wounded in the shootings, the country's Foreign Ministry said.

Among the wounded, two were in a critical condition, including a four-year-old child.

"There was a lady screaming "help, help" and he shot her point blank in the face", he said. He said he and others escaped by breaking through a glass door.

Strict gun law reforms received bipartisan political support at the time and there has not been a mass shooting since. "It was his intention to continue his attack", the prime minister said.

Speaking to the media at Lakemba Mosque on Saturday afternoon, Prime Minister Scott Morrison expressed the Australian government's "profound and deepest condolences and sympathies for the horrific and tragic terrorist attacks that took place in New Zealand".

Tarrant is believed to be the author of a 74-age manifesto posted online before the attacks occurred. In the manifesto, he identifies himself as a white man, born in Australia, and lists the white nationalists who have inspired him.

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

Speaking from Christchurch, he said: "It's been like an adrenaline rush all day".

Meates said at a news conference at the Christchurch hospital that it's "hard to fathom the enormity of this act of terrorism".

"Today we stand in solidarity with the Muslim community and stand up against growing racism and hatred around the world", said FSWC president Avi Benlolo. Additionally, New Zealand does not ban the ownership of semi-automatic military-style assault weapons, also in contrast to Australia.

A man who stood outside a Manchester mosque after the shooting of 49 people at mosques in New Zealand said he wanted to "respond with friendship". Health officials said 48 other people were being treated at Christchurch Hospital for gunshot wounds.

Authorities have not specified who they detained, but said none had been on any watch list.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush confirmed Tarrant was involved in both shootings but stopped short of saying he was the sole gunman.

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