New Zealand mourns massacre victims as tales of heroism, tragedy emerge

Ms Ardern spoke with victims of the sickening terror attack. Credit PA

"Police will continue to maintain a presence at all Mosques across New Zealand", New Zealand Police tweeted on Sunday.

The statement added that a range of activities must be completed before names can be released publicly, "this includes next of kin notifications, which, in many cases, will have global aspects to them". Police have warned the public that sharing the video is an offence and social media companies have said they are trying to scrub it from their platforms.

Ardern said the suspect was a licensed gun owner who bought the five guns used in the crimes legally. He was likely to face further charges, police said.

One additional victim was found at the Dean Ave Mosque.

Ms Ardern said families would eligible for funeral grants of up to $10,000.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday following the attacks that killed 50 people, Ms Ardern said if her office could have done anything with the information sent by accused shooter Brenton Tarrant, "absolutely we would have".

He said he survived by playing dead, but was desperate to know what happened to his friends who were there with him. 48 people were injured in the terrorist attack that was carried out during Friday prayers at Al Noor Masjid and a smaller mosque in Linwood.

The prime minister that he would be charged and tried in New Zealand.

Some of the victims have survived civil wars in their home countries, only to die in one of the quietest countries at the other end of the world.

Questions have been raised about why Tarrant had appeared on a watchlist of New Zealand or Australian security agencies.

Tributes have been left at the scenes of the attack. Credit PA
Tributes have been left at the scenes of the attack. Credit PA

She said the intent of the attack was to target a city and country that was well known for its safety.

She also signalled that if convicted, he would serve his sentence in New Zealand. "Forgiving is going to take time", Omar Nabi, whose father Haji Daoud Nabi was gunned down, told reporters outside the Christchurch court.

The video showed the killer was carrying a shotgun and two fully automatic military assault rifles, with an extra magazine taped to one of the weapons so that he could reload quickly.

Dirie's family had fled war-torn Somalia in the mid-1990s as refugees and settled down in New Zealand.

"We can not be deterred from the work that we need to do on our gun laws", Ardern said.

Tarrant, 28, who was living in Dunedin but is from Grafton, NSW, has been charged with one count of murder.

There are an estimated 1.5 million firearms in New Zealand, which has a population of only 5 million, but it has had low levels of gun violence.

A fourth person was arrested yesterday in the wake of the shootings, but has been released without charge. "My message was sympathy and love for all Muslim communities", she said she told him. "We are filled with grief over this senseless act of hate".

Officials in New Zealand have not yet released the names of those killed or wounded, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday that many of those "directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand" or even refugees.

"Fijian hearts are breaking for our brothers and sisters in New Zealand - a place where an atrocity of this nature is shocking nearly beyond comprehension".

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