'Heartfelt grief and sorrow' - Pacific pledges solidarity after Christchurch mosque attacks

Enlarge Image A New Zealand judge ordered

Enlarge Image A New Zealand judge ordered

Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant, 28, is accused of killing 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch in New Zealand's deadliest mass shooting.

As several victims remained in the hospital, including a four-year-old in critical condition, Tarrant appeared unrepentant in a court on Saturday, staring down media members with a smirk. Tarrant is scheduled to appear before the court on 5 April 2019.

Ms Ardern has vowed to change New Zealand's gun laws after confirming Tarrant had obtained a Category A gun licence in November 2017 and "under that, he was able to acquire the guns that he held".

In signs police say show a well-planned attack, army personnel were also called in to dismantle explosive devices found in a stopped vehicle and officers were on Friday evening searching a house in Dunedin, 360 kilometres away, clearing nearby homes for safety.

"We stand with New Zealand and Muslim communities here and around the world during this hard time".

"He always seemed to embody the philosophies of the fitness industry which is that we are inclusive and we accept all shapes of sizes and all fitness abilities and we are here to help and improve and help people", she said.

Before the attack, a man who identified himself as a white man from Australia allegedly posted a 74-page, hate-filled screed online, and then live-streamed the killings on Facebook. None of those arrested had a criminal history or were on watchlists in New Zealand or Australia.

Director-General of the Pacific Community (SPC) Colin Tukuitonga also showed his support for New Zealand and those who lost loved ones. There are an estimated 1.5 million firearms in New Zealand, which has a population of only five million, but the country has had low levels of gun violence.

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Witnesses told media that a man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit, and carrying an automatic rifle had started randomly shooting people in the Al Noor mosque. Two mosques were targeted in the attack.

Tarrant is expected to face additional charges and two others are in custody. We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene. New Zealand has in the past tried to tighten firearm laws, but a strong gun lobby and culture of hunting has stymied such efforts.

Ardern said the suspect traveled around the world and was in New Zealand sporadically.

One of the weapons that were allegedly used in the Christchurch massacre.

Windsor's Muslim community came out in their usual numbers for Friday prayers, shaken this week, however, by the horrific terrorist attack on the other side of the globe earlier in the day but standing steadfast in their resolve to maintain their way of life.

Asked by a reporter in Washington if he thought white nationalism is a rising threat around the world, Trump said: "I don't really".

Many on social media reacts with disgust at the mosque attacks questioning what will be the reaction of the whole world if the shooting is done by some Muslims.

Cook Islands prime minister Herny Puna said his country's prayers first and foremost were with the victims of the shooting, "their families, friends and loved ones whe are now faced with the irreconcilable loss of their loved ones". Indonesian Muslim leaders expressed anger at the shooting rampage while urging Muslims to show restraint.

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