Security beefed up in Australia following New Zealand attack

Joann Johnston
March 16, 2019

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks with a woman during a visit to the Canterbury Refugee Center in Christchurch, March 16, 2019.

After leaving the scene of the first terror attack, the terrorist or terrorists then moved on to the Linwood mosque, where a further 10 people were killed.

Judge Paul Kellar said although Tarrant was facing only one murder charge, it was "reasonable to assume there will be other charges". The semi-automatic rifles used in the shooting were plastered with hand-written white supremacist slogans. He will be in custody until April 5, according to the High Court in Christchurch.

Authorities implemented extra security measures.

Senior police officers led by counter terrorism chief Mick Willing met on Friday to assess the threat in Australia and how best to assist their counterparts in New Zealand.

During the Saturday morning hearing, a man who was not in court was charged with using writings to incite hatred against a race or ethnicity, but it was not clear if his case was related to the mosque attacks.

The death toll stands at 49, and 39 people are being cared for in Christchurch Hospital.

"This attack has been an enormous shock for all New Zealanders, and I am aware that there is a real sense of fear and concern for personal safety, particularly among our Muslim communities", New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush said.

Numerous victims hailed from around the world. The nationalities of the victims included Indian, Pakistani, Malaysian, Indonesian, Egyptian, Bangladeshi, Saudi, Somalian and Turkish, authorities said.

The Bulgarian government has also said it was looking into Tarrant, who apparently visited the country late a year ago, as well as having earlier travelled to other parts of the Balkans - including Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. A four-year-old girl has been transferred to the Starship Hospital in Auckland. He was shot in the abdomen and the leg. Mohan Ibrahim has lived in the country for five years, but says after the attack, he does not feel safe. She is calling for gun reform in the wake of the killings. The shooter, who had a gun license acquired in November 2017, carried out the killings with two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and a lever-action firearm, Ardern said.

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She also announced compensation would be provided for families of the victims.

"It's the time for change", said Ardern.

The Prime Minister was traveling from Wellington to Christchurch on Saturday alongside other politicians, including the opposition leader. We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities and 160 languages.

Speaking in Sydney, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the gunman as "an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist". In the manifesto, he identifies himself as a white man, born in Australia, and lists the white nationalists who have inspired him.

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. "Anyone who has seen the footage. they put New Zealand first", Ardern said.

In a statement released by the Clarence House Instagram page, Prince Charles has shared his horror on what is the darkest day in New Zealand's history.

At first, Mr Taylor and his colleagues had no idea what was happening, initially believing the alarms, sirens and general panic sweeping through the New Zealand city were signs of another quake, similar to the 6.2-level seismic disaster that destroyed massive swathes of the city in 2011.

He added that in New Zealand they are still learning about the massive Friday shooting that claimed the lives of 49 people attending prayer services in two mosques in Christchurch. The other two remain in custody but their role in the shootings remains unclear.

They said they were saddened by the "senseless" attacks. "There are obviously questions being asked of how this person was able to enter the country and undertake this act of terror", the premier said.

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