New Zealand Mosque Shootings Put Focus on Country's Firearms

16 March, 2019, 09:55 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • Brenton Tarrant appeared in court charged with the murder of 49 people

New Zealand law enforcement is working with Australian intelligence and police in the "wide-reaching" investigation, the commissioner said. He said he was a 28-year-old white Australian and a racist.

Before Friday's shootings in the city of Christchurch, the deadliest attack in the South Pacific country was in 1990, when a person went on a shooting spree in the seaside town of Aramoana that left 13 people dead.

"We mourn the heartbreaking killings of men, women and children gathered for prayer in their houses of worship and urge leaders in our nation and worldwide to speak out forcefully against the growing anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant hate that appears to have motivated these white supremacist terrorists", CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement. Police warned Muslims against going to a mosque anywhere in New Zealand, and the national airline cancelled several flights in and out of Christchurch, a city of almost 400,000. Several more people were killed in an attack on a second mosque in the city a short time later.

Advised the gunman obtained a Category A gun licence in November 2017, Ms Ardern said it was "under that, he was able to acquire the guns that he held".

"My daughter rang my mum [and] said Dad didn't make it".

But Yasalar said there is no escaping the horrendous magnitude of the events in Christchurch.

Children's screams can be heard in the distance as he returns to his vehicle to get another weapon.

Wahb noted that the attacker had written the name of the Quebec City mosque shooter on his weapon, "so that actually triggers the sad feeling and the sorrow of this tragedy that happened here because we actually experienced it with a city that is close by here". At least 49 people died.

The last comparable mass shooting in New Zealand was nearly three decades ago, and the annual murder rate is usually around 50 people for the entire country.

After going back outside and shooting a woman there, he gets back in his auto, where a song can be heard blasting.

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Muslims account for just over 1 percent of New Zealand's population, a 2013 census showed, most of whom were born overseas. The singer bellows, "I am the god of hellfire!" and the gunman drives away.

He also reached out to the Muslim community in Christchurch and in New Zealand.

Ardern, who flew to Christchurch on Saturday, said she had spoken to Trump, who had asked how he could help.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said the attack brought back memories of 2011, when anti-Muslim extremist Anders Breivik killed 77 at a youth gathering on a Norwegian island: "It shows that extremism is nurtured and that it lives in many places". Indian officials have not said whether the nine were believed to be living in Christchurch.

Meates said at a news conference at the Christchurch hospital that it's "hard to fathom the enormity of this act of terrorism".

New Zealand is generally considered to be a welcoming country for migrants and refugees. Still, public debatebegan growing late previous year about re-examining the country's firearms laws.

Home to almost 400,000 people, Christchurch is the largest city on New Zealand's South Island.

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.

Christchurch, sometimes called the Garden City, has been rebuilding since an quake in 2011 killed 185 people and destroyed many downtown buildings.

Perry reported from Wellington.

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