Australian Man Appears In Court On Murder Charge After Christchurch Attack

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The alleged suspect Brenton Tarrant, 28, from Australia, has since appeared in court in Christchurch charged with one count of murder, however New Zealand Police said further charges were expected to follow.

Tarrant was handcuffed and wearing a white prison jumpsuit when he walked into the courtroom.

Bush also said that two suspects arrested at a police cordon during the attacks when a firearm was found in their auto were not directly involved in Tarrant's assault.

New Zealand has raised its security threat level to the highest.

Two other people were in custody and police said they were seeking to understand whether they were involved in any way.

Two mosques were targeted in the attack.

Tarrant's occupation was not given on the charging document, and his address was provided as a place in Dunedin, more than 300 km south of Christchurch in New Zealand's South Island.

Most of the dead were killed at the Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue, before gunfire broke out at Linwood Masjid six kilometres away.

Dozens laid flowers near the mosques in New Zealand where 49 people were killed in mass shootings by a suspected white supremacist.

Families of victims described a long first night of waiting for information at Christchurch Hospital and Hagley College, where a community center has been set up.

New Zealand has in the past tried to tighten firearm laws, but a strong gun lobby and culture of hunting has stymied such efforts.


Speaking to the Indian Express, Ehsan's father Mohammed Sayeeduddin said, "Authorities at one hospital where injured are admitted told her [Ehsan's wife] that he was not there".

"She came here for the peace.now she is shocked", he said, adding his mother was too afraid to leave her house.

The New Zealand Red Cross has published a list of missing persons on its website.

She said the shooter had five guns, two of them semi-automatic.

Mr Bainimarama also said his government will be working closely with authorities in New Zealand to monitor the welfare of Fijians in Christchurch. Armed police were deployed at several locations in all cities, unusual in a country where levels of gun violence are low.

"As soon as New Zealanders hear that someone was legally able to acquire, as I'm advised, those weapons and carry out this event, that will raise enormous questions with our gun laws, and that is why we will respond swiftly", she explained.

While the main court proceedings will take place in New Zealand, there will be an investigation into Tarrant's background in Australia, according to Prime Minister Morrison.

'But the Prime Minister has signaled that we are going to look at that issue [banning semi-automatic weapons]'.

The AR-15 is a semi-automatic version of the United States military M16 rifle.

President Donald Trump, who has a record of Islamophobic rhetoric, online behavior and policies, tweeted out his "warmest sympathy and best wishes" to the people of New Zealand.

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