Nine missing after Christchurch mosque attacks


Anguished relatives were anxiously waiting Sunday for authorities to release the remains of those who were killed in massacres at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, while authorities announced the death toll from the racist attacks had risen to 50.

"If Jacinda Ardern moves as quickly as [former Australian prime minister] John Howard did [when he banned guns following the 1996 Port Arthur massacre], and she does it in 12 days, the probability is that she will be able to do what she wants to do", Alpers said. But updates were slow to come, and many families were still waiting to hear whether their loved ones were among the victims.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari termed the Christchurch mosques attack as a barbaric, violent act of terrorism.

"The street that I work on was covered in SWAT cars, they were flying past every minute, and loads of police cars going back and forth, so that must have been when they found out that there were attacks in at least two places, the first mosque and the second mosque".

At Hagley College, a school across a park from the Al Noor mosque where more than 40 people were killed, a makeshift support center was set up on Sunday.

He began purchasing guns the following month.

Ardern tried to reassure them on Sunday. Her foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said: "When people are murdered exclusively due to their religion, this is an attack on us all".

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At that time, he didn't know his father had been gunned down.

"I can't even go to the mosque now because I am scared of that happening again", the 16-year-old told New Zealand television.

One victim posted a Facebook video from his hospital bed, asking for prayers for himself, his son and daughter.

Javed Dadabhai, who flew from Auckland after learning about the death of his 35-year-old cousin Junaid Mortara, said the Muslim community was being patient.

Alabi said he told worshippers to duck down and then described how he and a "brother" made a decision to confront the attacker during a lull in the gunfire.

But he arrived late and by the time he got to the mosque, it was ringed by policemen who would not let him enter.

A 71-year-old Afghan man died after he reportedly ran into the line of fire to save fellow worshippers at the same Al Noor mosque.

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"He jumped in the firing line to save somebody else's life and he has passed away", his son Omar told AFP. "As is the entire nation, we are all unified in grieving together", she told reporters.

Church services for the victims were held, including at Christchurch's "Cardboard Cathedral", a temporary structure built after a 2011 quake.

Ardern said the suspect traveled around the world and was in New Zealand sporadically.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, appeared in a Christchurch court today charged with murder. He did not request bail and was taken into custody until his next court appearance which is scheduled for 5 April.

The attack has prompted an outpouring of grief and deep shock in this usually peaceful and hospitable country, which prides itself on welcoming refugees fleeing violence or persecution.

The mosque shooter had held a gun license since 2017 and used two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns, and a lever-action firearm in the attack.

And it has emerged that multiple warning signs were there, from a former soldier who raised concerns about extremism at Tarrant's gun club in Dunedin to warning emails sent to the prime minister's office that were not seen until after the attack.

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"Our gun laws will change", Ardern said.