NZ Mourns After 50 People Killed in Christchurch Terror Attack
At least 40 people have died in the two mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.
At least 40 people have died in the two mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.(Photo: AP)

NZ Mourns After 50 People Killed in Christchurch Terror Attack

Fifty people were killed in New Zealand's Christchurch on Friday, 15 March in one of the worst terror attacks in the island nation. At least five Indians were among those killed in the attack on two mosques, the Indian High Commission had confirmed on 17 March.

The funerals of the first victims were held on Wednesday, 20 March, with more expected to take place on Thursday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern returned to the city to pay her respects on Wednesday, saying, “There’s a desire to support the Muslim community as they return to mosques particularly on Friday.”

Snapshotclose

  • At least 50 people were killed in the terror attack on two New Zealand mosques
  • Five Indians were among the 50 killed
  • The alleged gunman, identified as Brenton Tarrant, had livestreamed a video of the carnage

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(3) NEW UPDATES

Local Media Reports Multiple Casualties

Many people were killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday, a witness said.

Police have not yet described the scale of the shooting but urged people in central Christchurch to stay indoors.

Reports of a Second Shooting in Another Mosque

There are reports of a second shooting in another mosque in the city, according to the New Zealand media, The Associated Press reported.

Police Says One in Custody, Might be More Offenders

The New Zealand police commissioner says one person is in custody, and the police believes that there may be other offenders, Reuters reported.

One of the Darkest Days for the Country: PM Addresses Press Briefing

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern addressed the media on the shooting. She said that this is one of the darkest days for the country.

“This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days. It was an unprecedented act of violence. Police has apprehended a person, but I don’t have further details of him yet.”

Shooter Live-Streamed the Incident, Posted Manifesto Online

Reports from New Zealand said the shooter has been identified as one Brenton Tarrant. He had live-streamed the whole incident online and had uploaded a lengthy manifesto before carrying out the shooting.

Bangladesh Cricket Team's Escape

Members of the Bangladesh cricket team safely escaped from the first reported mosque shooting in Christchurch on Friday, 15 March.

Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Jalal Yunus said most of the team were bussed to the mosque and were about to go inside when the incident happened. "They are safe. But they are mentally shocked. We have asked the team to stay confined in the hotel," he told AFP.

Cricketer Tamim Iqbal also tweeted out saying that the escape was a frightening experience.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board also tweeted out saying that the players are safe andback to their hotel.

“All members of the Bangladesh Cricket Team in Christchurch, New Zealand are safely back in the hotel following the incident of shooting in the city. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is in constant contact with the players and team management.”
Bangladesh Cricket Board

Also Read : Bangladesh Cricketers Escape Mosque Shooting in NZ, Tour Cancelled

New Zealand Police Urges People to Not Share Live Stream Video

The New Zealand police urged people to not share the “extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch”. The police said it is working to get the footage removed.

The police also urged the residents to stay inside and asked all mosques in the country to shut their doors.

“We ask all mosques nationally to shut their doors, and advise that people refrain from visiting these premises until further notice.”
New Zealand Police

Bangladesh - New Zealand Test Match Cancelled After Shooting

Cricket test match between Bangladesh and New Zealand has been cancelled after the Christchurch shooting, the New Zealand cricket board confirmed.

Police Commissioner to Address Media Shortly

The New Zealand police said that the police commissioner Mike Bush will be addressing the media at 5:30 pm local time (10:00 am IST). The briefing will be held at the Royal Society on Turnbull Street, Thorndon, Wellington.

KEY EVENT

Witnesses Recount the Horror

Witness Len Peneha said he saw a man dressed in black enter the mosque and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror.

Peneha, who lives next door to the mosque, said the gunman ran out of the mosque, dropped what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon in his driveway, and fled.

Peneha said he then went into the mosque to try and help.

"I saw dead people everywhere. There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque," he said.

“It’s unbelievable nutty. I don’t understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone. It’s ridiculous.”
Len Peneha, eyewitness

He said he helped about five people recover in his home. He said one was slightly injured.

One witness told stuff.co.nz he was praying in the Deans Ave mosque when he heard shooting and saw his wife lying dead on the footpath outside when he fled.

Another man said he saw children being shot.

"There were bodies all over me," he said.

An eyewitness told Radio New Zealand he heard shots fired and four people were lying on the ground, with "blood everywhere".

A man who was at the mosque during the incident is telling told TVNZ that he hasn’t seen his wife, who was also in the mosque this morning, since the shooting.

The man, who is a wheelchair and pushed himself out to the carpark, has a chilling account of the event, The Guardian reported.

He said he was in the side room and the imam had just started his sermon when the shooting started.

“It was very peaceful, calm and quiet, as it is when the sermon starts, you could hear a pin drop.”

“Then suddenly the shooting started. It started in the main room... I was in the side room, so I didn’t see who was shooting but I saw that some people were running out to my room where I was in, I saw some people had blood on their body and some people were limping. It was at the moment I realised things were really serious,” he said.

“So I tried too get out and I pushed myself at the back where my car was, and from there I heard the shooting, it went on six minutes or more, I could hear screaming and crying, I saw some people drop dead, some people were running away, I was in a wheelchair, so I couldn’t get anywhere.”

The man then pushed himself back into the mosque after the shooting ended, trying to find his wife, and help others.

KEY EVENT

Police Commissioner Addresses Media, Says 4 Arrested

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the police has arrested four people, including one woman. He added the police have defused a number of improvised explosive devices found on vehicles after the mosque shootings.

“There were a number of IEDs attached to vehicles that we stopped.”
Mike Bush, Police Commissioner

Lockdown of Schools Lifted, Police Confirms

The New Zealand police, soon after the commissioner’s briefing, said that the lockdown on schools has been lifted throughout Christchurch. It said that there is a large number of police present in the city.

Twitter Takes Down Suspect's Profile

(Photo: Screengrab)

Twitter has taken down the account of the suspect involved with the shooting, Bloomberg reported.

Palestinian Man Saw Someone Get Shot in the Head

A Palestinian man in the mosque, who did not want to give his name, said he saw a man shot in the head.

"I heard three quick shots then after about 10 seconds it started again it must have been an automatic no one could pull a trigger that quick," he told AFP.

"Then people started running out. Some were covered in blood." Another witness told stuff.co.nz he was praying in the Deans Ave mosque when he heard shooting and saw his wife lying dead on the footpath outside when he fled.

Another man said he saw children being shot.

"There were bodies all over me," he said.

An eyewitness told Radio New Zealand he heard shots fired and four people were lying on the ground, with "blood everywhere".

Unconfirmed reports said the shooter was a wearing military-style clothing.

Mass shootings are rare in New Zealand, which tightened its gun laws to restrict access to semi-automatic rifles in 1992, two years after a mentally disturbed man shot dead 13 people in the South Island town of Aramoana.

However, anyone over 16 can apply for a standard firearms licence after doing a safety course, which allows them to purchase and use a shotgun unsupervised.

Muslims Australia Statement

The federation of Islamic councils, in its statement condemning the terror attack, said that all mosques should be extra vigilant and asked the members of muslim community to be mindful of their safety in the coming days.

It said that the terror attack on Friday is a product of the "ever-increasing" Islamophobia and the marginalisation of muslims and is a reminder to everyone as to what hate and division can lead to.

Six Indonesians at the Mosque During Shooting

Indonesia's foreign minister says six Indonesians were at the Al Noor Mosque in New Zealand when a shooting occurred and three of them escaped.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said, "We are looking for three other Indonesian citizens."

Police have described multiple fatalities in shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch and say four people are in custody.

The Indonesian Embassy in Wellington sent a team to Christchurch that is coordinating with New Zealand officials.

The foreign ministry says there are 330 Indonesian citizens in Christchurch, 130 of them students.

It said it strongly condemns the attack. "The government and the people of Indonesia convey deep condolences to the victims and their families."

KEY EVENT

Australian PM Confirms One Australian Among the Four Arrested

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, while talking about the Christchurch terror attack, confirmed that an Australian man was among the four suspects that have been taken into custody after the deadly shootings at New Zealand mosques.

While condemning the attack, the Australian called the suspect a violent, extremist right-wing terrorist.

New Zealand Terror Attack: San Francisco Police to Beef Up Security Around Mosques

In the following events of the Christchurch terror attack, the San Francisco Police Department has said that it will be making extra passing calls around mosques in San Francisco.

KEY EVENT

40 Dead, 20 Injured: Prime Minister Ardern Confirms

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the death toll in the terror attack to be 40. She said that another 20 people have been injured in the attack. Earlier, she had called this one of the darkest days for the country. She also clarified the number of people in custody to be three during the press conference.

Earlier in the day, the police had reported four people in custody. There was no further information provided as to why this has been changed.

Ardern further said that the incident "can only be described as a terrorist attack." She said that New Zealand’s security threat went from low to high after the terror attack. This is the first time the threat in New Zealand is set at high.

PM Ardern also said that there were two explosives that were attached to the suspects' cars. This, she said, suggest that there was a "degree of planning" around Friday's attacks.

New Zealand Attack: Christchurch Hospital Treating 48 Patients for Gunshots

Christchurch Hospital is treating 48 patients with gunshot wounds, ranging from young children to adults, CNN reported, citing a statement from David Meates, Chief Executive of Canterbury District Health Board.

Police Commissioner to Address Media

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush will address the media again at 9 pm local time (1:30 pm IST) to provide an update on the current situation.

Suspect Came to New Zealand to Plan and Train for the Attack

The man who claimed responsibility for the shooting said he came to New Zealand only to plan and train for the attack. He said he was not a member of any organisation, but had donated to and interacted with many nationalist groups, though he acted alone and no group ordered the attack.

He said the mosques in Christchurch and Linwood would be the targets, as would a third mosque in the town of Ashburton if he could make it there.

He said he chose New Zealand because of its location, to show that even the most remote parts of the world were not free of "mass immigration." New Zealand is generally considered to be a welcoming country for immigrants and refugees. Last year, the prime minister announced the country would boost its annual refugee quota from 1,000 to 1,500 starting in 2020.

'People Jumped Fences, Hid Under Cars to Avoid Bullets': Eyewitness

Mahmood Nassir, a witness told The Associated Press that they (people in the mosque) jumped fences, hid under cars and ran to the back doors just to save themselves. He said that when the firing stopped, he looked from over the fence, to see the shooter changing his gun and taking the other one out.

Nassir said that his wife and 4-year-old kid was inside the mosque. He has, however, got the news that his family is safe.

When asked about how he feels about his place of worship being attacked, he said that bad people don’t know the difference between the good and the bad.

KEY EVENT

6 Indians Killed in New Zealand Mosque Terror Attack: Report

Unconfirmed reports have suggested that six Indian were killed in the two terror attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand that left at least 49 people dead and over 20 injured.

Speaking to BBC Hindi, Indian High Commissioner in New Zealand, Sanjeev Kohli said that initial information suggest that two Indian and four Indian-origin are believed to be dead in the terror attack.

Also Read : NZ Terror Attack: 2 Indians, 4 Indian-Origin People Among Victims

'Stand With People of New Zealand': World Leaders Condemn Terror Attack

World leaders expressed condolences and condemnation against the terror attack on mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. Several Muslim leaders said the mass shooting was evidence of a rising tide of violent anti-Islam sentiment.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the attacks the "latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia."

Pakistan's PM Imran Khan echoed Erdogan and said, "I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam and 1.3 billion Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim."

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted that he learned of the attack "with horror and profound sadness...The European Union will always stand with New Zealand and against those who heinously want to destroy our societies and our way of life."

London's Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said "London stands with the people of Christchurch in the face of this horrific terror attack."

"London will always celebrate the diversity that some seek to destroy," he added.

Also Read : Leaders Across The Globe Condemn New Zealand Mosque Attacks

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina Expresses 'Deep Shock', Reaches Out to NZ PM After Mosque Attack

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sent a message to her New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, expressing her "deep shock" and condemnation of the terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch.

Hasina's press wing said the prime minister reached out to Ardern on Friday.

An international cricket match between New Zealand and Bangladesh has been canceled after players from the visiting team narrowly avoided a mass shooting at one of the mosques.

9 Indians Missing After Mosque Terror Attack

After several reports suggested attacks on Indians in the mosque terror attack on Friday, Indian High Commissioner to New Zealand, Sanjiv Kohli said "there are nine missing persons of Indian nationality/ origin."

"Official confirmation still awaited," Kohli suggested.

The Ministry of External Affairs also put out a notification stating:

"Our Mission is in touch with local authorities to ascertain more details. It is a sensitive matter and therefore we can't give confirmed numbers/names till we are absolutely certain."

Also Read : Indian Shot in NZ Mosque Terror Attack, Family Seeks Urgent Visa

NZ Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II Condemns Mosque Attack

Queen Elizabeth II, New Zealand's head of state, said she was "deeply saddened" by the terror attacks on two mosques.

"I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch... At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders," she said in a message.

"Prince Philip and I send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives," she said, paying tribute to emergency workers and volunteers providing support to the injured.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis also extended prayers to the victims. The pope was "deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence," Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said in a telegram.

KEY EVENT

PM Modi Writes to NZ Counterpart, Expresses Deep Shock

PM Narendra Modi condemned the "loss of innocent lives", in a note written to his New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern.

On Friday, at least 49 were killed in the two mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

'My Brother Recovering After Getting Shot': Injured Victim's Brother

Speaking to ANI, Khurshid Jahangir, brother of Ahmed Jahangir who reportedly got injured in the terror attack said:

"My brother was injured and is now recovering in a hospital. He is currently undergoing surgery. We have seen in the video he has been shot in the chest. We're trying to reach the Embassy."

World Stands in Need of Compassion & Understanding

In the aftermath of the terror attack, Congress President, Rahul Gandhi tweeted saying:

"The New Zealand Shooting is a despicable act of terrorism, that must be condemned unequivocally. The world stands in need of compassion & understanding. Not bigotry & hate filled extremism. My condolences to the families of the victims. My prayers go out to those who were injured."

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri Condemns Mosque Terror Attack

Innocent People Have so Senselessly Died: Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump is expressing "warmest sympathy and best wishes" to the people of New Zealand after "the horrible massacre in the Mosques."

Trump tweeted as the White House issued a statement condemning the attacks at two mosques in the city of Christchurch that left at least 49 people dead.

Trump tweeted that "innocent people have so senselessly died" and added: "The US stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!"

MEA Assured Us Assistance: Owaisi

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President, Asaduddin Owaisi, in a tweet claimed that MEA has is looking into the matter and has assured the families of the affected Indians their assistance.

"I’d like to thank Sushma Swaraj for personally updating me about MEA’s efforts in assisting Ahmed’s & Ahsan’s families reach NZ in time," he said.

KEY EVENT

India Stands in Solidarity with New Zealand: Sushma Swaraj

Hours after the terror attack, Minister of External affairs Sushma Swaraj in a tweet said:

"In this moment of grief, India stands in solidarity with the people and Government of New Zealand."

"We strongly condemn the dastardly terrorist attacks at the places of worship in Christchurch. Our heartfelt condolences to those who lost their loved ones. Our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families," she added.

Bulgaria Launches Probe Into Suspected Gunman's Recent Visit

Bulgaria launched probe into recent visit by New Zealand mosque attacker, say prosecutors, reported AFP.

The prosecutor will investigate the recent visit of an Australian man alleged to be the gunman. The suspect visited Bulgaria from 9-15 November last year, claiming that he wanted to "to visit historical sites and study the history of the Balkan country", said the prosecutor.

Stand United Against Anti-Muslim Hatred, Urges UN Chief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday, 15 March, urged the international community to "stand united against anti-Muslim hatred" and all forms of bigotry and terror following the shootings at two mosques in New Zealand that left at least 49 dead and many others wounded.

"I'm saddened & strongly condemn the shooting of innocent people as they prayed peacefully in mosques in New Zealand. I express my deepest condolences to the victims' families. Today and every day, we must stand united against anti-Muslim hatred, & all forms of bigotry & terror," the UN Chief tweeted.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, the Secretary-General said he is "shocked and appalled" at the terrorist attack at the two mosques in Christchurch. He extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of New Zealand.

"The Secretary General recalls the sanctity of mosques and all places of worship. He calls upon all people on this holy day for Muslims to show signs of solidarity with the bereaved Islamic community," his spokesman said.

Shooter Had Gun License, NZ PM Flags Off Law Changes

Five guns were used during 15 March’s mass murder attack. The accused received his gun licence in 2017. "He travelled to a range of countries." said New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. She has flagged a change to New Zealand's gun laws, according to AFP.

“The accused man, Brenton Tarrant, was not a resident of Christchurch, he lived in Dunedin,” she added.

Suspcted Shooter Appears Before Christchurch Court on Murder Charges

Twenty-eight-year-old Brenton Tarrant appeared in court on Saturday charged with murder, after a terror attack on two Christchurch mosques that left 49 dead.

Wearing handcuffs and a white prison shirt, the Australian-born former fitness instructor and self-professed fascist sat impassively as the judge read the charge against him.

He did not request bail and was taken into custody until his next court appearance scheduled for 5 April.

We Still Love New Zealand: Imam at Christchurch Mosque

An imam who was leading prayers at a Christchurch mosque when a gunman brandishing semi-automatic weapons mowed down his congregation said Saturday that the Muslim community's love for New Zealand would not be shaken by the massacre.

"We still love this country," said Ibrahim Abdul Halim, imam of Linwood Mosque, vowing that extremists would "never ever touch our confidence".

Halim gave a harrowing account of the moment during Friday prayers when gunshots rang out in the mosque, replacing peaceful reflection with screaming, bloodshed and death.

"Everyone laid down on the floor, and some women started crying, some people died immediately," he said.

But, he said, New Zealand Muslims still felt at home in the south Pacific nation.

Security Beefed Up in Australia Following New Zealand Attack

Australia started deploying extra police force at major events and mosques following the Friday's Christchurch terrorist attack.

Victoria has been put on high alert as it would be hosting the Formula 1 Grand prix and a community open day in Mosques statewide on the weekend.

"You will see a lot more police out and about this weekend," Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Wendy Steendam was quoted as saying by the media. Mosques across Victoria have planned a community open day for this Sunday and were keen for them to go ahead, Steendam said while asking people to go and support the Muslim communities, and maintaining vigilance.

Two Indians Killed in NZ Mosque Attacks, Some Missing: Report

A software engineer from Hyderabad and a woman post-graduate student from Kerala's Thrissur were among the 49 people killed in the terror attacks on Friday on two mosques in New Zealand's Christchurch, while the whereabouts of at least two visitors from Gujarat where not known, reported IANS.

Ancy Ali, a 25-year-old married woman from Kerala's Thrissur, was among the victims, the Kerala Police said.

Ancy, who had migrated to New Zealand with her husband Abdul Nassar last year, lived near the mosques that were attacked, an officer at the Kodungalloor police station in Thrissur told IANS.

Ancy was doing her post-graduation in Christchurch where her husband was working, the officer said.

"We received news from the Special Branch that a woman from here was injured in the shooting. We have now received the news that she has passed away," said the officer who did not wish to be named.

Software engineer Farhaj Aslan, who was reported missing following the attacks, was confirmed dead, his family in Hyderabad said on Saturday.

"We have received information that my brother was killed in the attack," his elder brother Kashif Ahsan told IANS.

KEY EVENT

5 Indians Among 50 Dead in NZ Mosque Attacks, Indian High Commission Confirms

Five Indians were among the 50 people killed in the terror attack at two mosques in Christchurch, the Indian High Commission said Sunday.

Also Read : 5 Indians Among 50 Dead in New Zealand Mosque Terror Attack

Death Toll Rises to 50 in NZ Terror Mosque Attacks

The death toll from Friday's mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques has risen to 50, with another 50 injured in the attack, police said on Sunday, PTI reported.

The additional death was discovered as bodies were being removed from the two buildings in the southern city of Christchurch, Police Commissioner Mike Bush told reporters.

Victims' Age Is From 3 to 77 Years Old

The age of New Zealand’s Christchurch mosque victims ranges from ages 3-77 years old, AFP reported.

Facebook Removes 1.5 Million Videos of Attack Globally

Out of respect for people affected by the terror attack, Facebook removed 1.5 million videos of the attack globally in first 24 hours.

New Zealand PM Received Gunman's 'Manifesto' Minutes Before Attack

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her office received a "manifesto" from the gunman suspected of killing 50 people in two Christchurch mosques minutes before Friday's attack, AFP reported.

"I was one of more than 30 recipients of the manifesto that was mailed out nine minutes before the attack took place," Ardern told reporters on Sunday.

Australian Police Search Homes Linked to Gunman

Australian counter-terrorism police searched two homes early Monday linked to the gunman accused of killing 50 people at two New Zealand mosques last week, police said, reported AFP.

The homes were in the New South Wales towns of Sandy Beach and Lawrence, both near the town of Grafton where Brenton Tarrant, the alleged shooter, grew up.

"The primary aim of the activity is to formally obtain material that may assist New Zealand police in their ongoing investigation," a police statement said.

They said Tarrant's family "continues to assist police with their inquiries" but that there is no information to suggest "a current or impending threat" to the community.

Christchurch Gun Store Sold 4 Weapons to the Gunman

The owner of Christchurch’s “Gun City” store said, it sold four guns and ammunition to the alleged mosque shooter through a “police-verified online mail order process,” reported AP.

David Tipple said, in a statement that he has provided police with the purchase records and full details of the sales, which did not include military style semi-automatic weapons.

Tipple said he and staff are “dismayed and disgusted” by Friday’s shootings.

Referring to the man arrested after the shootings at two mosques, Tipple said, “We detected nothing extraordinary about this (gun) license holder.”

Christchurch Shooter Dismisses Lawyer, to Represent Self in Court

Prime accused Brenton Tarrant, on Monday, 18 March dismissed his lawyer in order to represent himself in court hearings, news agency ANI reported.

This, according to the report is being seen as his attempt to use the trial to express his extremist views.

The attorney representing Tarrant confirmed the news and said that the accused was not mentally unstable.

He said that tarrant wanted to represent himself and that his job had come to an end after the Saturday, 16 March hearing.

PM Ardern Says Gun Law Reforms to be Announced in 10 Days

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern said that gun law reforms will be announced within 10 days following the Christchurch terror attack that killed 50 people.

She said Cabinet ministers had met and made an in-principle decision to tighten gun ownership but details still need to be worked out.

Ardern also announced an inquiry into the country's intelligence services.

Police Says Tarrant Carried Out Attacks Alone, Support not Completely Ruled Out

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush, on Monday said that the terror attacks at the two mosques in Christchurch were carried out by the prime suspect, Brenton Tarrant alone. Bush, however, did not completely rule out the possibility of support towards the deadly attacks, The Associated Press reported.

Facebook Being Criticised for Failing to Remove Images of Attack

After Facebook removed a staggering 1.5-million videos showing harrowing viral footage of the Christchurch mosque attack, the social media platform is still facing criticism for failing to block images of the incident, Mail & Guardian reported.

Gunman Will Face Full Force of Law: PM Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday, 19 March, promised that the man responsible for last week's deadly mosque massacres would face "the full force of the law" and vowed never to utter his name, reported AFP.

Ardern has promised reforms to New Zealand gun laws which allowed Tarrant to legally purchase the weapons he used in the attack, including semi-automatic rifles.

And she announced a full review of how the Australian, an avowed white supremacist was able to plan and carry out the attacks in New Zealand under the radar of security services.

Six Bodies Returned to Christchurch Families After Delay

The bodies of six of the Christchurch massacre victims have been released to their families after delay, New Zealand police said on Tuesday. However, they warned only a fraction of those killed had been fully identified, reported AFP.

Police said that all 50 autopsies had been concluded but only “12 victims have been identified to the satisfaction of the Coroner.”

The delay has caused consternation among families of the dead, who would have liked to follow Islamic custom and bury their loved ones within 24 hours.

Received No Reports While Attack Was Live Streamed: Facebook

Facebook told New Zealand authhorities that it received no reports of the video of the Christchurch mosque attacks while it was being live streamed by the gunman.

As reported by Associated Press, Chris Sonderby, Vice President and deputy general counsel at Facebook, said "no users reported the video during the live broadcast," which was viewed fewer than 200 times.

Sonderby added in a blog post that Facebook removed the video "within minutes'" of being contacted by police, and it was watched about 4,000 times in total before being taken down.

He concluded saying that Facebook removed 1.5 million videos of the attacks in the 24 hours after the event.

Discussed Plans for a Memorial to Victims: PM Jacinda Ardern

As the first of the Christchurch mosque attack victims were laid to rest, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern returned to the city to pay her respects on Wednesday, 20 March.

Speaking to the media, Ardern said she has discussed plans for a future memorial to mosque shooting victims with the council and community leaders.

On gun control, Ardern said New Zealand is a blueprint for what not to do.

Apologising for the delay in returning the victims’ bodies, she said, "We are absolutely united in our determination to reunite families with their loved ones."

Burials Begin for New Zealand Mosque Mass Shooting Victims

The burials have begun for the New Zealand mosque mass shooting victims, reported Reuters.

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