New Zealand's Ardern vows gun law reform after Christchurch terror attack

Flowers left at cordon

"I condemn the terrorist attack on the mosques in Christchurch in the strongest possible terms and send my condolences on behalf of the people of #Israel to the families of the victims, the injured, the government and the people of New Zealand", Rivlin wrote.

Four people have been arrested in connection with the attacks but just one man, 28-year-old Brandon Tarrant, has been charged with murder.

"I'm not privileged to a full breakdown at this point but it is clear that young children have been caught up in this horrific attack", she said regarding victims of the attack.

Throughout the hearing, Brenton Tarrant, who had a cut on his upper lip, remained silent and looked at the media persons in the public gallery.

Sahra Ahmed, a New Zealander of Somali origin, said she was touched by the PM's gesture. Her foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said: "When people are murdered exclusively due to their religion, this is an attack on us all".

"If Jacinda Ardern moves as quickly as [former Australian prime minister] John Howard did [when he banned guns following the 1996 Port Arthur massacre], and she does it in 12 days, the probability is that she will be able to do what she wants to do", Alpers said. Shortly before the attack, he published a 73-page "manifesto" in which he vowed "revenge" against Muslim "invaders" and said he was inspired by Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011.

"I saw dead people everywhere".

Although shops were shuttered and many chose to stay at home Saturday, bouquets of flowers piled up at a makeshift memorial near the Al Noor mosque, many accompanied with handwritten letters laden with sadness and disbelief. Tarrant said nothing, entered no plea to the charge and did not apply to have his name withheld.

Police officers search the area near the Masjid Al Noor mosque site of one of the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch New Zealand Saturday

"An expert testified before parliament in 2016 that it was only a matter of time before a mass shooting occurred in New Zealand", he told SBS News.

New Zealand's Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio said he spoke to one of the Trustees of the Festival last night about the decision, and why it was made.

The group "Muslims in New Zealand" said it was "overwhelmed" with messages of support in a Tweet. On Saturday morning, dozens of people stood silently, facing the building as police went about their work.

In the video, the killer spends more than two minutes inside the mosque spraying terrified worshippers with gunfire. Children's screams can be heard in the distance as he returns to his auto to get another rifle. At least 49 people died.

The footage 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. After walking back outside and shooting a woman there, he gets back in his vehicle, where the song "Fire" by English rock band "The Crazy World of Arthur Brown" can be heard blasting from the speakers.

However, the weapons were not legal as they were found by police after the attack.

The second attack took place at the Linwood mosque about 5km away.

There are about 1.5 million privately owned firearms in New Zealand, according to the most recent from 2017 data by GunPolicy.org, a global database compiled by the University of Sydney. Ardern, whose party campaigned on the promise of raising the intake of refugees, called the planned increase "the right thing to do". Sometimes called the garden city, it has been rebuilding since an natural disaster in 2011 killed 185 people and destroyed many downtown buildings.

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