Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Alleged mosque shooter was armed to kill even more people

Alleged mosque shooter was armed to kill even more people

Thirty- six people were still being treated on Saturday, 11 of whom remained in intensive care.

At a roadblock outside the Al Noor mosque on Sunday, about 40 people were standing in silence near scores of bunches of flowers.

"Those two police officers acted with absolute courage", Bush said. Christchurch Hospital on Saturday said most of the victims were men aged between 30 and 60, but children and women were also involved. Police said further charges were expected to follow.

Whether it was at her media conference in the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch mosque massacre on Friday or comforting the devastated Muslim community in the shaken city yesterday, the 38-year-old leader has displayed the right balance of strength and compassion in the aftermath of the atrocity that killed 49 and injured 39 more.

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

A Candelit Prayer is held outside the State Library of Victoria on March 16, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia; 49 people are confirmed dead, with with 36 injured still in hospital following shooting attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday, 15 March at the hands of suspected shooter Brenton Tarrant. "It was his intention to continue his attack", the prime minister said.

Showing hallmarks of John Howard's leadership after Port Arthur, the Christchurch shootings will be a key chapter in Ms Ardern's political career.

"Those decisions have yet to be taken, but the Prime Minister has signaled that we are going to look at that issue", Parker told Radio New Zealand.

Police said two other people were in custody.

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"Fijian hearts are breaking for our brothers and sisters in New Zealand - a place where an atrocity of this nature is shocking nearly beyond comprehension".

"We think also of our Cook Islands community in Christchurch and in New Zealand, with so many of our people who have made their homes there".

The majority of victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia and Afghanistan.

Brenton Tarrant used two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and a lever-action firearm in the attack.

In a manifesto circulating online, Tarrant described himself as "Just a ordinary White man, 28 years old" who used the spoils of cryptocurrency trading to finance extensive travels through Europe from 2016-2018.

Murder is illegal in New Zealand no matter what the gun laws are. 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.

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

He said the Fijian people stood with their Pacific family in this time of suffering and sadness, and we condemn all forms of hatred and terror.

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