Many victims of New Zealand mosque massacre hailed from Mideast, South Asia


Tarrant, 28, was handcuffed and wearing a white prison jumpsuit when he quietly walked into the courtroom. A raft of further charges are expected.

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. Flanked by two police officers, he smirked when media persons photographed him during the hearing and was seen making the white power gesture.

Christchurch is a city of about 400,000 residents, still recovering from a massive natural disaster in 2011 that killed 187 people. "I thought it would be the other way around, the Muslims attacking, that's what everyone was waiting for", says Paul Hale, 56, who runs a landscaping business in Christchurch.

One man in his late 20s has been arrested and charged with murder, and will appear in court on Saturday.

Two Muslim organizations in the Chicago area said they were stepping up patrols and other security measures Friday after a mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand killed at least 49 people and wounded dozens more, but Chicago police said they were not aware of any local threats.

"It's outrageous" he said.

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

"This is always the biggest fixture on our match calendar and one which our fans look forward to", said Clark, who would have been expecting a crowd of some 20,000.

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Massacre victim Wasseim Asati posts a video from his hospital bed, asking people to pray for his daughter - who is in a critical condition.

The man facing murder charges was an Australian citizen who had spent a lot of time travelling overseas and spent time only sporadically in New Zealand, Ardern said.

There has been an outpouring of grief from around the world.

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

Although shops were shuttered and many made a decision to stay at home Saturday, bouquets of flowers piled up at a makeshift memorial near the Al Noor mosque, many accompanied with handwritten letters laden with sadness and disbelief. "Our hearts are breaking for your loss", read one of the notes marked with a string of x-kisses. The alleged gunman obtained a gun license in November 2017.

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

"The guns used in this case appear to have been modified".

"While work has been done as to the chain of events that led to both the holding of this gun licence and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now: our gun laws will change", Ardern told reporters.

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

Ms Ardern confirmed Tarrant was arrested 36 minutes after the initial call came in to police on Friday.

Armed police were deployed at several locations in all cities, unusual in a country where levels of gun violence are low.

Another of Daoud´s sons, Yama, was on the way to the mosque - to make up with his father after a small falling out - when he bumped into a friend outside who told him "your father saved my life".

Two people are still in custody.

At Christchurch hospital, where many members of the Muslim community spent Saturday waiting for news of loved ones, members of the public turned up offering auto lifts around town, food parcels and hot drinks, or just a friendly face to talk too. "The Muslims have a deep command taught to be intertwined with the whole, so it is sad to see that some people hate us".

New South Wales police commissioner Mick Fuller said police had visited Tarrant's childhood home in the town of Grafton, north of Sydney, and spoken to family members as part of their investigation.

The attack has prompted searching questions about whether right-wing extremism has been treated with enough seriousness by Western governments.

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