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10 mins before attack, New Zealand mosque attacker mailed manifesto to PM

17 March 2019

In it, he identified himself as Tarrant and said he was a 28-year-old Australian and white supremacist who was out to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.

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

Two other armed suspects were taken into custody Friday while police tried to determine what role, if any, they played in the cold-blooded attack that stunned New Zealand, a country so peaceful that police officers rarely carry guns.

The Jordanian citizen of Palestinian origin is reported to have moved to New Zealand five years ago and described it as "the safest place one could ever live in".

Bush also said that two suspects arrested at a police cordon during the attacks when a firearm was found in their vehicle were not directly involved in Tarrant's assault.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the country's high commission in New Zealand is in touch with local authorities for more information.

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The video, which was live-streamed on Facebook, has since been removed from the platform.

A man and a woman were held in custody while police investigated their involvement, if any, in the two shooting attacks. Most others marked on the email were media houses, both domestic and global, said a PM's spokesman.

According to the police, 41 people were killed at Al Noor mosque and seven at Linwood mosque while one injured died in a hospital.

Kim Kardashian applauded New Zealand's lawmakers for proposing to change the country's gun laws following the mosque shootings that left at least 49 people dead.

A total of 36 people - two critical - remain in Christchurch Hospital, while a young girl is in Auckland's Starship children's hospital.

Muslims account for just over one percent of New Zealand's population, while there are about 200,000 Indians or people of Indian origin in the Pacific island nation. "But we are so aware of the cultural and religious needs, so we are doing that as quickly and sensitively as possible", Bush said.

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None of those arrested had a criminal history or were on watchlists in New Zealand or Australia.

Business Standard reports that Tarrant allegedly used "two semi-automatic rifles, two shotguns and a lever-action weapon".

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush confirmed Tarrant was involved in both shootings but stopped short of saying he was the sole gunman.

She called the mass shooting "an extraordinary act of violence", and vowed "our gun laws will change".

Tarrant on Saturday was charged with only one count of murder, though Prime Minister Ardern assured the public that more charges will be added as the judicial process continues.

She did not offer too much detail, but said a ban on semi-automatic weapons would be looked at.

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US President Donald Trump, who condemned the attack as a "horrible massacre", was praised by the accused gunman in a manifesto posted online as "a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose".

10 mins before attack, New Zealand mosque attacker mailed manifesto to PM