Sunday, 24 March, 2019

New Zealand Mosque Shootings Put Focus on Country's Firearms

49 Dead In 'Terrorist Attack' At 2 Mosques In Christchurch, New Zealand New Zealand Attack: What We Know
Lora Ball | 16 March, 2019, 11:44

The 28-year-old Australian man accused of yesterday's terror attack that left at least 49 people dead in Christchurch has appeared in court this morning, charged with murder.

Christchurch is New Zealand's second-largest city, with a population of about 375,000 people. "It is at times like this we draw on those relationships to continue dialogue on concerns and fears surrounding the tragic incidents that happened in New Zealand".

Moreover, the outlet published a picture of him, wearing a prison robe and cuffs, and flanked by security guards.

The New Zealand government is looking at banning semi-automatic weapons following the killing of 49 worshipers at two Christchurch mosques, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. 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.

"I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11", Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan posted on social media.

He said they were praying "to our God of all peoples and of all cultures for peace, tolerance and good will".

At first, Mr Taylor and his colleagues had no idea what was happening, initially believing the alarms, sirens and general panic sweeping through the New Zealand city were signs of another quake, similar to the 6.2-level seismic disaster that destroyed massive swathes of the city in 2011.

Ardern said the Australian suspect was not on any watch lists and did not have a criminal record.

Commissioner Mike Bush hailed the "absolute bravery" of both police and members of the public "who put themselves in harm's way" to apprehend the suspect.

Service at a mosque in Gibsonia
Service at a mosque in Gibsonia

He compared it to a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed 11 people last October, deadly attacks on churches in Egypt by Islamic State and an attack by a far-right Israeli gunman on a West Bank mosque in 1994 that killed 29 people.

Authorities were working to find out how he had obtained the weapons and a license, and how he was able to enter the country to carry out the attack, she said.

Gardee said the nonstop messages of support from other Canadians have been "extremely heartening and means the world". "New Zealand is home for all of us, and this despicable act will not change that feeling of closeness in us".

A witness says many people have been killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Police and military personnel walk at the carpark compound of the district court after Friday's mosque attacks, in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 16, 2019.

The increased presence will be particularly noticeable during prayer times, police said.

The manifesto also included a single reference to US President Donald Trump in which the author asked and answered the question of whether he was a Trump supporter: "As a symbol of renewed white identity and common goal?"

I have spoken this evening to the mayor of Christchurch and I intend to speak this evening to the Imam. "We are doing everything we can to remove it", he said. In fact, for many, New Zealand was a choice, a place they actively came to and committed themselves to, the place they were raising their families, where they were part of communities they loved and who loved them.

A website set up for victims had raised more than NZ$1 million ($684,000) in less than a day, and social media was flooded with messages of shock, sympathy and solidarity.

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