New Zealand gunman inspired by mass-murderer Anders Breivik

Flowers seen laying down to pay respect to the victims of the Christchurch mosques shooting

Enlarge Image Flowers seen laying down to pay respect to the victims of the Christchurch mosques shooting. Getty Images

At least 49 people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques full of worshippers attending Friday prayers on what the prime minister called "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, has been charged following the attacks.

New Zealand's low-slung second city was cloaked in mourning, shops shuttered and residents zombified, struggling to comprehend Friday's mass shooting that claimed 49 lives - the worst massacre in the history of this nation of five million. Tarrant, charged with one count of murder, will remain in custody until his next court appearance on April 5.

"I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change", Ardern said adding that a ban on semi-automatic weapons would be considered. But the news was trickling down slowly, and many were still waiting for news of their loved ones.

"When people, of course, hear that this individual had acquired a gun licence and acquired weapons of that range, then obviously I think people will be seeking change, and I'm committing to that", she said. Ardern said more charges would be laid.

Tarrant has been described as a suspected white supremacist, based on his social media activity.

The man facing murder charges was an Australian citizen who had spent a lot of time travelling overseas and spent time only sporadically in New Zealand, Ardern said.

"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.

At first, Mr Taylor and his colleagues had no idea what was happening, initially believing the alarms, sirens and general panic sweeping through the New Zealand city were signs of another quake, similar to the 6.2-level seismic disaster that destroyed massive swathes of the city in 2011.

The police commissioner warned anybody who was thinking of going to a mosque anywhere in New Zealand on Friday to stay put.

An unidentified man wrestled a gun from the hands of the man involved in the terror attack in New Zealand and prevented further deaths, according to witnesses.

Describing himself as an "ethnonationalist and fascist", he said he only arrived in New Zealand three months ago whilst he "planned and trained", though was persuaded that it "was as target rich of an environment as anywhere in the world".

One man who said he was at the Al Noor mosque told media the gunman was white, blond and wearing a helmet and a bulletproof vest.

Police said two other people were in custody. He assured all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his "heartfelt solidarity".

Court photos of the man accused in the Christchurch mosque terror attack have been altered not to show his face due to an order from a New Zealand judge.

"We are now dealing with an unprecedented situation in New Zealand".

Tarrant, who was not granted name suppression, smirked to the camera of the media dock and frequently scanned the court room which was closed to the public.

Ardern was asked if she agrees with Trump's remarks that white nationalism is not on the rise.

Politicians in Pakistan and India have also expressed their grief, and shared messages of support to families who may have lost their loved ones.

Altre Notizie