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Death toll from NZ terror attack rises to 50
17 March 2019, 04:41 | Regina Holmes
A relative of one of the victims
The victims of Friday's shooting included immigrants from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
She said, "The mere fact... 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". While interpretation of Islamic law regarding burials varies, burying a person as soon as possible after death is a fundamental principal of Islam, usually no more than 24 hours later.
One of the images most widely shared on social media in solidarity with New Zealand is a cartoon of a kiwi, the country's national bird, crying.
"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. "This is not the New Zealand we know".
The Christchurch attacker could have killed even more people as he was on the move at the time of his arrest, and had more firearms in his vehicle, New Zealand's PM said, praising police who responded to the call in just 36 minutes. Patients ranged in age from 2 years old to almost 70, according to David Meates, chief executive of the Canterbury District Health Board. Armed police were deployed at several locations in all cities, unusual in a country that has had low levels of gun violence.
Ardern said Tarrant was a licensed gun owner who allegedly used five weapons, including two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns, which had been modified.
Watch: PM Ardern's comments on tightening gun laws.
Tarrant lived in Dunedin, on New Zealand's South Island, and was a member of the Bruce Rifle Club, according to media reports which quoted club members saying he often practiced shooting an AR-15, which is a lightweight semi-automatic rifle. Ardern suggested "now is the time for change" and hinted she was closely looking at rules regulating ownership of semi-automatic weapons.
Australia imposed stricter rules on gun control and bought back firearms after a mass shooting left 35 people dead and 23 injured at a cafe in Port Arthur, Tasmania, in 1996.
It was just over a year ago that Kim Kardashian called for safer gun laws in the USA following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
Leaders around the world expressed sorrow and disgust at the attacks, with some deploring the demonisation of Muslims.
"You may have chosen us", Ardern said, addressing the suspect.
The message, received less than 10 minutes before the attack on Friday, did not set out what was about to happen, he said.
Ardern called on the USA government to show "sympathy and love for all Muslim communities", and told the press that "the person who has committed this violent act has no place here". "These acts of hate have no place in the diverse and tolerant society for which New Zealand is justly known", the White House statement said.
New Zealand set to ban semi-automatic weapons
Jordan's foreign ministry said three people from the Middle East country were killed in the attacks after a wounded man died. Global media were packed outside the court before the hearing, along with heavily armed police and security staff.
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