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New Zealand mosque shootings kill 49 in what PM calls 'terrorist attack'

17 March 2019

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush says the death toll has increased to 49 in shootings at two mosques.

A total of four people - three men and one woman - are now in custody and will appear in court tomorrow.

The shooter, Australian man Brenton Tarrant, 28, told his Facebook Live stream viewers just before opening fire on two mosques, to 'subscribe to PewDiePie'.

One man outside the mosque said that he prayed that the gunman would "run out of bullets". The white supremacist revealed he was inspired by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011.

Police outside one of the mosques in New Zealand
Four suspects are in custody after the shootings

"Just heard news of the devastating reports from Christchurch, New Zealand".

Part of the New Zealand shooter's motivation apparently was to have his chaos go viral via live streaming and an online "manifesto" posted on his social media account.

She added that this was "one of New Zealand's darkest days". On Saturday, people across the country were reaching out to Muslims in their communities on social media to volunteer acts of kindness - offering rides to the grocery store or volunteering to walk with them if they felt unsafe.

Tarrant's relatives in the Australian town of Grafton, in New South Wales, contacted police after learning of the shooting and were helping with the investigation, local authorities said.

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The situation is still unfolding but our thoughts and prayers are with our Kiwi cousins.
"I condemn the violent, extremist, right-wing terrorist attack that has stolen the lives of so many innocent New Zealanders as they went about their peaceful practice of worship at their mosques in Christchurch today".

After parking, he took two guns and walked a short distance to the mosque where he opened fire.

Australia's prime minister Scott Morrison has since confirmed that one of those arrested was an Australian citizen.

Two IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were also found and neutralised by the military, police said.

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Ardern said New Zealand was not a target because it is a safe harbour of those who hate, nor because New Zealand condones racism or is an enclave for racism.

He describes himself as "a private and mostly introverted person" and admits he is racist, adding that he is an "Eco-fascist by nature". "At that moment, I realised it was really serious", the man said. Ardern, whose party campaigned on a promise to take in more refugees, called it "the right thing to do".

Home to almost 400,000 people, Christchurch is the largest city on New Zealand's South Island.

The government of New Zealand is treating the incident as a terrorist attack. There will be so many people affected.

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Players and members of the team's coaching staff were reportedly on their bus, approaching the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Hagley Park when the shooting broke out.

New Zealand mosque shootings kill 49 in what PM calls 'terrorist attack'