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New Zealand terror attack

17 March 2019

At a roadblock outside the Al Noor mosque on Sunday, about 40 people were standing in silence near scores of bunches of flowers.

Christchurch residents including the Muslim community are mourning the victims of the attacks. Tarrant was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5 where police said he was likely to face further charges.

Before Friday's attack, New Zealand's deadliest shooting in modern history took place in 1990 in the small town of Aramoana, where a gunman killed 13 people following a dispute with a neighbour.

"For them to come to what they thought was a safe country and end up facing a shocking incident like this is really sad to hear", says Mark Greenhill, news director for New Zealand's news website Stuff.

Two other armed suspects were taken into custody Friday while police tried to determine what role, if any, they played in the cold-blooded attack that stunned New Zealand, a country so peaceful that police officers rarely carry guns.

British security sources said there were no apparent United Kingdom links to the attack.

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".

Described by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison as "an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist", Tarrant's manifesto made it clear that the gunman posited himself as something different: "just a regular white man".

"We know that there's been young Somalis that have lost their life, people of Turkish backgrounds that have been injured", he told NPR's Weekend Edition from the airport, on his way to Christchurch.

"Those decisions have yet to be taken, but the Prime Minister has signaled that we are going to look at that issue", Parker told Radio New Zealand.

After Tarrant left, the judge said that while "there is one charge of murder brought at the moment, it is reasonable to assume that there will be others".

"Fijian hearts are breaking for our brothers and sisters in New Zealand - a place where an atrocity of this nature is shocking nearly beyond comprehension".

Most of the victims of the attacks were immigrants from Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia and Afghanistan. "The people of New Zealand are in our thoughts and prayers". A four-year-old girl is also fighting for her life in Auckland's Starship children's hospital.

She pronounced it "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

Business Standard reports that Tarrant allegedly used "two semi-automatic rifles, two shotguns and a lever-action weapon". Several New Zealand politicians, including National Party leader Simon Bridges and parliament speaker Trevor Mallard, were on the mailing list.

He said the Fijian people stood with their Pacific family in this time of suffering and sadness, and we condemn all forms of hatred and terror.

New Zealand terror attack