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Jacinda Ardern says suspect in Christchurch attack meant to continue attack

17 March 2019

New Zealanders have responded to the attacks with an outpouring of interfaith solidarity - crowdfunding millions of dollars, donating halal food and even offering to accompany local Muslims now scared to walk the streets. "It's going to be a criminal charge against the guy who's done this, so they need to be pretty thorough", he said. All injured are undergoing treatment at Christchurch Hospital.

The prime minister said she was among over 30 others who received the mailed manifesto just nine minutes before the tragedy unfolded.

There were two attacks on Friday in Christchurch - one at the Masjid Al Noor Mosque next to Hagley Park, and one at the Linwood Masjid Mosque in the suburb of Linwood.

Officers arrested two others following the attacks and are now working to establish whether they had any involvement in the terror attacks against the Muslim community in New Zealand.

New Zealand Police said death toll has increased to 50.

He is set to appear before New Zealand's High Court on April 5.

Brenton Tarrant, charged for murder in relation to the mosque attacks, is lead into the dock for his appearance in the Christchurch District Court, New Zealand, on March 16, 2019.

Responding to commentary about police response times to the attacks, Commissioner Bush said: "I can tell you that within six minutes of police being called. police staff were on the scene". Gunmen opened fire in two separate mosques in Christchurch on Friday, killing 49 people and wounding 48 others.

Police said the suspect took seven minutes to travel to the second mosque in the suburb of Linwood, where seven people were killed.

Jacinda Ardern says suspect in Christchurch attack meant to continue attack

Eleven people remained in intensive care, hospital authorities said.

In the manifesto, which was also posted online, Tarrant described himself as "Just a ordinary White man, 28 years old" who used profits from cryptocurrency trading to finance extensive travels through Europe from 2016-2018. "He liked to do marriages - he married me and my wife", said Sulaman Abdul, who fled Somalia as a refugee in 1993 for New Zealand.

Tarrant's occupation was not given on the charging document, and his address was provided as a place in Dunedin, more than 300 km south of Christchurch in New Zealand's South Island.

The violence has also shone a new light on gun control.

The video showed the killer was carrying a shotgun and two fully automatic military assault rifles, with an extra magazine taped to one of the weapons so that he could reload quickly.

As prime minister Jacinda Ardern considers banning semi-automatic rifles following Friday's massacre of 50 Muslim worshippers, some gun users are busy stockpiling, fearing their favourite toys will soon be out of reach.

Civilians in New Zealand own an estimated 1.2m firearms, according to the 2017 small arms survey.

New Zealand has in the past tried to tighten firearm laws, but a strong gun lobby and culture of hunting has stymied such efforts.

Jacinda Ardern says suspect in Christchurch attack meant to continue attack