Monday, 25 March, 2019

New Zealand's Ardern vows gun law reform after Christchurch terror attack

New Zealand mosque shooting: At least 49 killed after gunmen open fire Tory leader Scheer issues new statement on attacks including mention of Muslims
Freda Brock | 16 March, 2019, 04:09

A man suspected in at least one of the shootings that killed at least 49 people at two mosques in New Zealand appeared briefly in court.

The 59-year-old Canadian songwriter was due to appear at Hagley Park in the New Zealand city on Sunday, but has since put the concert on hold following the tragic attack.

The government advised people not to go to mosques until further notice.

Law enforcement officials in other cities across the country, including NY and Los Angeles, have also said they are increasing security forces at mosques in response to the shooting.

That said, the two countries are dramatically different in size, with New Zealand having a population of less than 4.8 million people while the US has an estimated 327.2 million people, but the gun violence rates are notably different when looked at with comparitive sizes.

New Zealand police said three men and one woman were taken into custody.

Christchurch Police Commissioner Mike Bush said 41 people were killed at the Al Noor Mosque near Hagley Park, while seven were shot dead at the Linwood Avenue Mosque. The test match they were scheduled to play against New Zealand tomorrow has been called off.

Facebook, Twitter and Google companies scrambled to take down the gunman's video, which was widely available on social media for hours after the horrific attack.

"People started to pass by us with blood stains on their clothes, they were very scared and their voices were trembling, some people could not even speak", restaurant manager Prakash Sapkota, who was near the mosques, told Euronews.

Comment | YouTube Music: Google is late to the party
YouTube has announced the launch of YouTube Music , a new music streaming service, in South Africa. There is also an introductory offer - three months of free subscription for YouTube Music Premium .

New Zealand police closed the Christchurch court to the public over security concerns, but the media was able to attend.

After going back outside and shooting a woman there, he gets back in his vehicle, where the song "Fire" by the English rock band The Crazy World of Arthur Brown can be heard blasting.

This is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history.

Ardern said New Zealand had been placed on its highest security threat level. One alleged shooter livestreamed part of the attack and posted a manifesto online, suggesting a racially motivated act of terrorism.

A licence must be obtained, however New Zealand is one of the few countries where most individual weapons don't have to be registered.

Last year, New Zealand's prime minister announced that the country would boost its annual refugee quota from 1,000 to 1,500 in 2020.

Christchurch is home to almost 400,000 people and is sometimes called the Garden City.

"We, New Zealand, were not a target because we are a safe harbor for those who hate", Ardern said. It has been rebuilding since an natural disaster in 2011 killed 185 people and destroyed many downtown buildings.

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