Jarring photo shows blood-soaked survivor of New Zealand attack

Joann Johnston
March 16, 2019

They include a 28-year-old man who was charged with murder and was due to appear in court Saturday.

New Zealand's gun laws have remained largely unchanged since 1992, when the 1983 law was toughened in response to another massacre in which 13 people died.

New Zealand's prime minister says the "primary perpetrator" in Friday's mosque shootings was a licensed gun owner and legally acquired the five guns used in the shootings.

Handcuffed and wearing a white prison suit, Tarrant did not speak. A raft of further charges are expected.

Forty-one of those killed were at one mosque and children are among the 48 people being treated for gunshot wounds, officials said. Injuries ranged from minor to critical.

Members of the Bangladesh cricket team, now on tour in New Zealand, said on social media that they had almost been caught up in the tragedy.

Tarrant grew up in Grafton in NSW and stated in a rambling 74-page "manifesto" posted online before the attack he had spent years planning in vengeance for deaths in Europe, before deciding on Christchurch three months ago.

TRT World's Jacob Brown explains.

Ms Ardern said a fourth person who had been arrested while in possession of a firearm on Friday had been released, as they were a member of the public wanting to help authorities.

Police later said one of the arrests didn't relate to the shootings.

The prime minister said the events in Christchurch represented "an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence" and acknowledged many of those affected may be migrants and refugees.

Shootings reported at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand
Ranstorp said Tarrant's document is shorter and "more sloppy" than the one written by the Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011. Authorities said they were unable to confirm fatalities, but the scale of the bloodshed appeared to be vast.

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"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack", she said.

"At first, we hide behind the cars and you know under the vehicle, then when we see the the fighting [shooting] is still on we try to jump the fence". He called the attacker an "extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist".

New Zealand police lifted a city-wide lockdown that was imposed in Christchurch after the attacks.

The UK stands ready to support New Zealand however we can.

Witnesses told media that a man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit, and carrying an automatic rifle had started randomly shooting people in the Al Noor mosque.

He had livestreamed the shooting on Facebook.

Meanwhile, the third cricket test between New Zealand and Bangladesh has been cancelled in the wake of the shooting. "The horrific active shooter scenario at a mosque is something we all pray never happens (but) there is no active intelligence that there is any immediate threat in the U.S. But we can not be complacent".

New Zealand police described the footage shot by the gunman - which AFP has verified, but is not distributing - as "extremely distressing" and warned web users that they could be liable for up to 10 years in jail for sharing such "objectionable content". The man burst into the mosque as worshippers were kneeling for prayers.

Dozens of people laid flowers at cordons near both mosques in Christchurch, which is still rebuilding after a devastating quake in 2011 that killed nearly 200 people. He said he and others escaped by breaking through a glass door.

Muslims account for just over 1 percent of New Zealand's population, a 2013 census showed.

Christchurch was the home of these victims. It has been rebuilding since an quake in 2011 killed 185 people and destroyed many downtown buildings.

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