Friday, 22 March, 2019

Sports canceled as traumatized New Zealand mourns shooting victims

Australian Man Appears In Court On Murder Charge After Christchurch Attack Christchurch mosque shooting: Handcuffed, barefoot, main suspect smirks in court; next hearing on April 5
Jeannette Daniel | 17 March, 2019, 06:14

The massacre during Friday prayers prompted a heartfelt response from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who pronounced it "one of New Zealand's darkest days" and said the shooter, an Australian native, had chosen to strike in New Zealand "because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion".

A video of one of the shootings was live streamed on Facebook by a man identifying himself as Brenton Tarrant.

"Just around the entrance door there were elderly people sitting there praying and he just started shooting at them", Mazharuddin told Sky.

A noisy generator raring from a construction site next to the Christchurch Justice Precinct was a stark and irritating reminder of those tragic events, as media and members of the public gathered awaiting Tarrant's court appearance.

"While work is being done as to the chain of events that led to both the holding of this gun license and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now: Our gun laws will change", she said at a news conference on Saturday.

Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old white supremacist obsessed with the Crusades, toured the Continent and came to Britain to stay for up to a fortnight in 2017.

The police initially said that four people had been detained in the wake of the attacks.

At least 49 people were killed in the attacks on two mosques.

The death toll from Friday's massacre in the South Island city of Christchurch has risen to 50 after another victim was located at one of the crime scenes, police said on Sunday.

New Zealand's first-class domestic cricket competition, the Plunket Shield, has been decided with a round to spare in sad and unique circumstances.

Labelling the attack as an act of terrorism, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed to reform the country's gun laws.

Flowers and signs are seen at a memorial as tributes to victims of the mosque attacks near Linwood mosque in Christchurch New Zealand

The video footage showed a man driving to the mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people present inside.

A second survivor, Faisal Sayed, said: "If that hadn't happened, many more would have died and I wouldn't be here now".

Police have long anxious that the gaps and loopholes make it easier for the wrong people to obtain and keep firearms.

"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack", said Ardern. Thirty-six of those remain in Christchurch hospital, where they are being treated with the utmost care and professionalism by medical staff.

None of those arrested had a criminal history or were on watchlists in New Zealand or Australia.

The New Zealand Red Cross has published a list of missing persons on its website.

"I convey the message of love and support on behalf of New Zealand to all of you", she said. People hold up signs of support at a vigil in Aotea Square in support of the victims of the Christchurch mosque killings in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019.

Speaking to reporters later, Ardern said the country's gun laws will change in the aftermath of the attack on Christchurch mosques by Brendon Terrant, the Aurtralia-born terrorist behind the carnage.

Ardern said the suspect was a licensed gun owner who bought the five guns used in the crimes legally.

Mr Bainimarama also said his government will be working closely with authorities in New Zealand to monitor the welfare of Fijians in Christchurch.

A host of world leaders, including US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May, expressed sorrow and disgust at the attacks. It's a lot to take in, and talking to friends and family can help.

More news: England v Scotland, Six Nations 2019

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