PM statement on the New Zealand attack: 15 March 2019

PM statement on the New Zealand attack: 15 March 2019

There was no weekend vim and bustle in Christchurch on Saturday.

Heartbroken New Zealanders lit candles and placed flowers at makeshift memorials set up in the city of Christchurch in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in the country's history. One victim died in hospital. Children are among them. He did not enter a plea, but made a hand gesture associated with white supremacists.

It took less than two weeks for Australia to ban "assault rifles". He has been charged with one count of murder. I said to him, "calm down, the police are here now" and stuff.

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.

Of the 49 victims, only a small number have so far been identified.

Politicians in Pakistan and India have also expressed their grief, and shared messages of support to families who may have lost their loved ones. People were screaming on the floor waiting ambulance, but the police wouldn't allow us to go an help because it wasn't safe.

"I saw dead people everywhere".

New Zealand's ambassador-designate to the U.S., Rosemary Banks, told NPR that authorities are "convinced this particular event is over".

By the time the rampage was over, the gunman had killed 41 people.

Fear lies at the heart of all terrorism. Shortly before the attack, he published a 73-page "manifesto" in which he vowed "revenge" against Muslim "invaders" and said he was inspired by Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011.

Mass shootings, and violent crime in general, are rare in New Zealand, a country of almost 5 million people.

That was demonstrated in high definition.

The gunman live-streamed the assault on Facebook from a head-mounted camera, and the footage showed how victims were killed inside one of the mosques.

Police officers search the area near the Masjid Al Noor mosque site of one of the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch New Zealand Saturday

Imran had dropped off his father, an electrical engineer, at the Al Noor mosque on Friday and was looking for a parking space when the shooting began.

At around 1.40pm yesterday Australian Brenton Tarrant allegedly stormed Masjid Al Noor and Linwood Masjid, and opened fire.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament on March 15, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand. "We stand with New Zealand and Muslim communities here and around the world during this hard time".

Ardern said the shooter was "in possession of a gun licence" obtained in November 2017, and he started legally purchasing the weapons the following month. She has called it "the right thing to do".

In New Zealand, police officers don't routinely carry firearms. He said he was a 28-year-old white Australian and a racist. "We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate".

On the sombre streets of Christchurch, Jeremy Mitchell said it was "surreal" such a massacre could happen in New Zealand.

Whatever contact existed between the extremists, more than anything the mosque murders illustrate how technology has erased borders, and demonization of "the other" have been normalized in political discourse.

Dr. Sinan Yasalar, media relations director for the Windsor Islamic Association, said the targeted attacks on Muslims in the west have taken their toll on the community.

Mourners hug outside the Al Noor mosque on Saturday.

"As I prayed today, I thought this could be me, or my grandchild, or my daughter", Elbardouh said.

Batsman Tamim Iqbal tweeted "entire team got saved from active shooters".

Hungry for any news, families and friends of the victims gathered at the city's Hagley College, near the hospital.

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