New Zealand Shooting: Man, 28, Appears In Court After Mosque Attacks

The mosques were packed with worshippers for Friday prayers

A 28-year-old man has appeared in New Zealand charged with murder after mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques claimed at least 49 lives.

Handcuffed and wearing a white prison suit, Tarrant did not speak. His court-appointed lawyer made no application for bail or name suppression.

A Palestinian man who was in one of the mosques said he saw someone being shot.

The slaughter shocked the usually peaceful nation, whose Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, labeled the carnage a terrorist attack and one of her country's "darkest days", describing the suspects as holding "extremist views" that have no place in New Zealand or the world.

Footage of the attack on one of the mosques was broadcast live on Facebook, and a "manifesto" was also posted online that denounced immigrants as "invaders".

There are now four individuals who have been apprehended, but three are connected to this attack who are now in custody, one of which has publicly stated that they were Australian-born.

Worshippers, possibly dead or wounded, lay huddled on the floor, the video showed. Reuters was unable to confirm the authenticity of the footage.

Two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were found in a vehicle and neutralized by the military, while police raided a home in Dunedin, where Ardern said the suspect was based.

She said inquires were ongoing to establish whether the other two were directly involved.

None of those arrested had a criminal history or was on any watchlist in New Zealand or Australia. Funerals were planned on Saturday for some of the victims, several of whom were born overseas. In Scotland, the shooting of 16 students and a teacher in March 1996 prompted the banning of private ownership of handguns in the United Kingdom, and after the Port Arthur massacre where 35 people were killed in a series of shootings, Austrailia enacted widespread tightening of gun laws. I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. Now is the time for change. "But undoubtedly, the law can be strengthened and improved", she said.

Political and Islamic leaders across Asia and the Middle East voiced concern over the targeting of Muslims.

"I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11", Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan posted on social media.

About 41 people were killed at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch at about 1:45 pm [local time], and the rest were killed in a second shooting at the Linwood Masjid Mosque.

Worshipper Ahmed Al-Mahmoud told New Zealand television a gunman entered a mosque and began "shooting like everyone in the mosque, like everywhere", prompting worshippers to smash door and window glass in an attempt to flee.

Facebook said it had deleted the gunman's accounts "shortly after the livestream commenced" after being alerted by police. "Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers", while Mushfiqur Rahim said: "Alhamdulillah Allah save us today while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque.we r extremely lucky.never want to see this things happen again.pray for us". He said he chose New Zealand to show that even the most remote parts of the world were not immune to "mass immigration".

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