40 dead in New Zealand mosque shootings

40 dead in New Zealand mosque shootings

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush says the death toll has increased to 49 in shootings at two mosques.

Bush told a news conference that a man has been charged with murder and will appear in court tomorrow. The white supremacist revealed he was inspired by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011. In a statement he said: "Our hearts go out to the people of New Zealand following the news of this bad act in Christchurch".

One witness, who did not want to be named, said he was driving by the scene and saw a man with a "with his 3 or 4-year-old daughter" who had been shot in the back.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Facebook New Zealand, Mia Garlick, said videos that appeared to show the Christchurch shootings were quickly taken down.

"I am not going to let this change New Zealand's profile, none of us should".

When asked why they weren't on any lists, Ardern said: "It's an indication they had not acted in a way that warranted it".

Tarrant's relatives in the Australian town of Grafton, in New South Wales, contacted police after learning of the shooting and were helping with the investigation, local authorities said. It is the busiest day for many mosques around the world when Muslims convene for Friday prayers. "At that moment, I realised it was really serious", the man said.

The horrified YouTuber said on Twitter this morning that he had "just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch".

Two IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were also found and neutralised by the military, police said.

Police outside one of the mosques in New Zealand
Four suspects are in custody after the shootings

He has been described by Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison as an "extremist right-wing violent terrorist".

Satellite navigational audio could also be heard in the video as the gunman drove to the mosque, which AFP tracked on Google StreetView showing his route for the two kilometres (1.2 miles) leading there.

New Zealand, with a population of 5 million, has relatively loose gun laws and an estimated 1.5 million firearms, or roughly one for every three people.

Immigrants "have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home", Ardern said.

The gunman said he was not a member of any organization, acted alone and chose New Zealand to show that even the most remote parts of the world are not free of "mass immigration".

New Zealand is generally considered to be a welcoming country for migrants and refugees.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh cricket team's tour of New Zealand has been called off in the wake of the attack. Sometimes called the garden city, it has been rebuilding since an quake in 2011 killed 185 people and destroyed many downtown buildings.

The shootings took place at two separate mosques in the Canterbury region of the city.

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