Dead In 'Terrorist Attack' At 2 Mosques In Christchurch, New Zealand

Brenton Tarrant appeared in court charged with the murder of 49 people

SUSPECT Brenton Tarrant appeared in court charged with the murder of 49 people

Brenton Tarrant, charged for murder in relation to the mosque attacks, is lead into the dock for his appearance in the Christchurch District Court, New Zealand March 16, 2019. He is due back in court on April 5 and police said he was likely to face further charges.

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

The hand gesture is a symbol used by white supremacists and far-right internet trolls. A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he explained who he was and his reasoning for the attack.

Many people were killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday, a witness said.

Worshippers, possibly dead or wounded, lay on the floor, the video showed.

The victim can not be named by order of the court. The camera attached to his head recording the massacre follows the barrel of his weapon, like some macabre video game.

Rizwan Khan, 32, originally from West Bengal in India, told Al Jazeera of his fortune when an appointment in town meant he was running late for his usual trip to the Al Noor mosque.

The unnamed man went home to retrieve his gun when the shooting broke out before returning to the Linwood mosque to engage the shooter. "We are doing everything we can to remove it", he said.

A fourth person was arrested yesterday in the wake of the shootings, but has been released without charge. No images have emerged from the second mosque.

Word of the attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand - killing 49 people during Friday prayers - had already become common knowledge to most in attendance at Windsor Mosque on Northwood Street.

The faithful gathered for prayers on Friday at the Windsor Mosque, a day after a gunman killed 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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

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On Saturday, the prime minister said the "primary perpetrator" in the shootings was a licensed gun owner and legally acquired the five guns used.

"I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change", Ardern said.

He said he chose New Zealand because of its location, to show that even the most remote parts of the world were not free of "mass immigration".

The city is on edge as helicopters are heard overhead and people are advised to stay indoors.

Bush said police have recovered "a number of firearms" from both crime scenes. Doctors at Christchurch hospital said they worked through the night in 12 operating theatres to do what they could to save the survivors. One person taken to a hospital died from injuries sustained during the attack.

Al Jazeera's Andrew Thomas, reporting from Christchurch, said the suspect locked eyes intensely with journalists. Funerals were planned on Saturday for some of the victims.

From time to time people outside the cordon came to place flowers under a tree to express their condolences to the victims.

"It is clear this is one of New Zealand's darkest days", Ardern said earlier Friday.

"I am deeply saddened by the terror attack in New Zealand & stand with our Muslim community to condemn this hate-fuelled violence", Mayor John Tory tweeted.

Ardern said the victims came from across the Muslim world, with Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia among the countries rendering consular assistance.

Gun control experts told the Guardian such weapons can be easily converted into a military-style semi-automatic rifle using a high-capacity magazine, the sale of which is not regulated in New Zealand.

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