Killer had guns authorities had 'never seen used in Australia or NZ

Brenton Tarrant

Chicago Muslim groups step up security after New Zealand mosque attacks

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday condemned the "terrorist attack" on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in which at least 40 people were killed and 20 more were seriously injured.

Brenton Tarrant, in white prison suit, barefooted, handcuffed and flanked by two armed police officers, made a brief appearance in the court for about five minutes. 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.

"The regulation of guns in New Zealand is categorised as restrictive", say the authors of the database.

New Zealand now has no ban on semi-automatic military-style weapons.

He has so far been charged with one count of murder, although judge Paul Kellar said it's "reasonable to assume" that more charges will follow, after yesterday's deadly shooting.

"We New Zealanders were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone this racism, or because we are an enclave of extremism, we were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things", she said.

"We need upstanding political and community leaders to speak loudly denouncing all forms of discrimination, including Islamophobia", she said. The suspect appeared to be a white supremacist motivated by US -based extremism, having posted a manifesto online declaring his hatred for Muslims and idolizing USA extremist movements. "It is beyond belief that something like this should happen in our city and in New Zealand".

"I was really lucky", Nour Travis, who was on the scene at Al Noor told New Zealand radio station NewsTalk ZB. The attack was the worst ever peacetime mass killing in New Zealand and the country raised its security threat level to the highest.

Chicago Muslim groups step up security after New Zealand mosque attacks

One man who said he was at the Al Noor mosque told media the gunman burst into the mosque as worshippers were kneeling for prayers.

But police and firearms experts have pointed to several loopholes allowing owners to bypass registration of semi-automatics.

New Zealand is normally peaceful and calm - and has plenty of guns.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has confirmed that the death toll in the Christchurch mosque attacks has risen to 49 people. He did not apply for bail, or for his name to be suppressed. He said he wants the city's Muslims to know that New Yorkers "truly embrace" them and "have their backs".

Pool via Getty Images Brenton Tarrant, charged in relation to the Christchurch massacre, is escorted in the courtroom Saturday in Christchurch, New Zealand. The AR-15 was used at Port Arthur, as well as a number of high-profile mass shootings in the United States. And at a news conference later on Friday, according to a pool report, one reporter asked the president if he saw a rise in white nationalism around the world.

Tarrant posted a jumbled, 74-page manifesto on social media in which he identified himself as an Australian and white supremacist who was out to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.

In France, home to western Europe's largest Muslim community, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner ordered regional authorities to bolster security at mosques as a precaution. Prime Minister Jacinda Arden called the shootings a terrorist act, tweeting that such acts have no place in the country.

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