Accused New Zealand mosque shooter makes first court appearance

The suspect made a sign to the camera during his appearance in the Christchurch District Court on Saturday

Brenton Tarrant appeared in court on Saturday charged with murder over the attack.

Tarrant, handcuffed and wearing a white prison suit, stood silently in the Christchurch District Court where he was remanded without a plea.

Judge Paul Kellar allowed journalists to use cameras and shoot video but said Tarrant's face must be obscured in order to protect his right to a fair trial.

The President of French Polynesia, Edouard Fritch sent a message of support to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, following the attack in Christchurch. He also published a 74-page white nationalist manifesto in which he denounced Muslims and called immigrants "invaders".

A video of one of the shootings was live streamed on Facebook by a man identifying himself as Brenton Tarrant.

The team had been scheduled to play a match against New Zealand on Saturday at the Hagley Oval Cricket Ground, close to the Masjid Al Noor Mosque.

The word repeated over and over across New Zealand is "Why?"

"He had a big gun.He came and started shooting everyone in the mosque, everywhere", said the man, Ahmad Al-Mahmoud. No images have emerged from there. He said he survived by playing dead, but was desperate to know what happened to his friends who were there with him.

"I could not contact two of my friends who are in the mosque as well", he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday wrote to his New Zealand counterpart expressing his deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the victims.

A spokesman said the email did not describe the specific incident and that there was "nothing in the content or timing that would have been able to prevent the attack".

A fourth person who was detained in the aftermath of the attack was later determined to be an armed bystander who wanted to help police.

More news: 49 killed in New Zealand mosque shooting

An interfaith prayer session outside the Christchurch memorial, following the shooting.

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

He said up to 70 people were praying inside Linwood when gunshots were heard. At least 50 people have been confirmed killed as a result of the terror attacks at three locations in the east coast city of Christchurch.

"Hi guys how are you". None of them had been on any security watch lists prior to the attack, officials said.

Christchurch is a city of about 400,000 residents, still recovering from a massive natural disaster in 2011 that killed 187 people.

Ardern said the suspect traveled around the world and was in New Zealand sporadically. Ardern said some were from Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia. "We love you New Zealand!" he continued. The Sydney Morning Herald reports Nabi had left Afghanistan decades earlier and settled in Australia with his family. A four-year-old girl has been transferred to the Starship Hospital in Auckland.

"It's the time for change", said Ardern.

It is customary in Islam to bury the dead within the 24 hours.

Ms Arden stated the deadly attacks was one of New Zealand's "darkest days" and vowed to change the country's current gun laws.

New Zealand citizens as young as 16, provided they pass a background check to get a firearms license, can possess a long gun. There are an estimated 1.5 million firearms in New Zealand, which has a population of only five million, but the country has had low levels of gun violence.

The AR-15 was used at Port Arthur, as well as a number of high-profile mass shootings in the United States.

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