New Zealand Mosque Suspect Appears in Court

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"Inevitably, this is such a small community, so these people are going to be people who are familiar to us, even if we don't know them directly", he says.

The attack came during Friday prayers when the mosques were filled with hundreds of worshippers.

A spokesman from Ardern's office confirmed the document was sent to a generic address not checked by the prime minister herself, as part of a bulk email that also went a number of senior New Zealand political figures and large number of domestic and global media organisations.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed that the shooter in the Christchurch mosque attacks was an Australian citizen, describing the suspect as an "extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist".

Showing hallmarks of John Howard's leadership after Port Arthur, the Christchurch shootings will be a key chapter in Ms Ardern's political career.

Police said three people were in custody including a man in his late 20s who's been charged with murder.

Tarrant did not have a criminal history and was not on any watchlists in New Zealand or Australia.

Meantime, Survivors of the deadly mosque shooting said the death toll may have been much higher without the quick thinking of one man. Children are among the 48 people being treated for gunshot wounds.

In a video filmed from his hospital bed Alsati asked people to "please pray for me and my daughter", who has been flown to Auckland for treatment.

"Hi guys how are you".

Christchurch is a city of about 400,000 residents, still recovering from a massive natural disaster in 2011 that killed 187 people.

Pacific Islands Forum Chair and president of Nauru Baron Waqa expressed his "deepest condolences" to the people and government of New Zealand on what he called a sad day for Christchurch and a sad day for the region.

A few hundred demonstrators have protested the New Zealand mosque shootings outside Istanbul's Hagia Sophia - a Byzantine-era cathedral that was turned into a mosque and now serves as a museum.

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The Associated Press news agency on Saturday reported about an Indian couple in Christchurch looking for their son, Imran Khokhur, who has been missing since the massacre.

The majority of victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia and Afghanistan. Muslims account for just over 1 percent of New Zealand's population.

Four New Zealand women hugged each other outside the cordon.

Reality television star Kim Kardashian applauded New Zealand after the country's leaders announced gun laws would change in wake of Friday's mosque shootings that left at least 49 people dead.

Speaking to media in Wellington earlier, Ardern stressed that "now was the time for change".

None of the bodies of the victims were immediately released due to the investigation, leaving families unable to bury their dead within the 24 hours customary in Islam.

"While work is being done as to the chain of events that lead to both the holding of this gun license and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now - our gun laws will change", she told reporters.

New Zealand has in the past tried to tighten firearm laws, but a strong gun lobby and culture of hunting has stymied such efforts. Armed police were deployed at several locations in all cities, unusual in a country that has had low levels of gun violence.

"When people, of course, hear that this individual had acquired a gun licence and acquired weapons of that range, then obviously I think people will be seeking change, and I'm committing to that", Ms Ardern said. Story continues after video. Tarrant said nothing, entered no plea to the charge and did not apply to have his name withheld.

The AR-15 is a semi-automatic version of the United States military M16 rifle. It's a lot to take in, and talking to friends and family can help. "My message was sympathy and love for all Muslim communities", she said she told him.

New Zealand´s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (C) meets residents at the Hagley College in Christchurch on March 16, 2019.

Pence also affirmed USA cooperation in ensuring all the perpetrators were brought to justice.

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