Australian charged as number killed in mosque attacks rises

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A 28-year-old Australian man has been charged with murder after a terror attack at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch left 50 people dead.

Brenton Tarrant, handcuffed and wearing a white prison suit, appeared in court on Saturday morning, a day after the usually peaceful nation suffered its deadliest terror attack.

He stood silently in the Christchurch District Court, smirking when media photographed him in the dock where he was flanked by two police officers.

He appeared to be making a gesture with his hands which has been interpreted by some as a white supremacist sign, while others believe it is a reference to an online joke.

During a brief hearing at Christchurch District Court, Tarrant was remanded without a plea. He is due back in court on 5 April and police said he was likely to face further charges.

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Australian charged as number killed in mosque attacks rises



PM: Suspect intended to continue with attack

Tarrant is accused of murdering a man, whose name was suppressed by Judge Paul Kellar on the grounds of undue hardship to his family.

The death toll at the al Noor and Linwood mosques was initially 49 but as New Zealand woke up on Sunday Police Commissioner Mike Bush said a 50th victim had been found at one of the mosques.

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Some 36 people remain in hospital and two of them are in a critical condition. A child was transferred to Starship, a children’s hospital in Auckland, where she remains.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the terror attacks marked “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”. She promised that gun laws would be changed.

The mayor of Christchurch in New Zealand said the shootings were an “act of cowardice” and the attacker came with “hate in his heart”.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel said: “He did not develop his hatred here. He came here to perform this act of terrorism.”

She said graves were being dug for the dozens of worshippers who were shot dead and officials are working closely with the community on the specific requirements of a large number of Muslim funerals.

The mayor added: “At this time there will be a grief stricken city, but we will come back from this and continue our path of welcoming people of all nations, from all religions from all cultures to our city.”

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Australian charged as number killed in mosque attacks rises



Aftermath of shooting inside NZ mosque

Australian charged as number killed in mosque attacks rises
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Emergency workers push a stretcher carrying a person into a hospital

The gunman filmed himself in his car before he carried out the attacks and also live-streamed the atrocity when he attacked the al Noor mosque packed with worshippers attending Friday prayers.

Sky News has decided not to show the video.

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Australian charged as number killed in mosque attacks rises



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