New Zealand shooting suspect Brenton Tarrant charged with murder in Christchurch court

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Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year old Australian citizen, appeared in a Christchurch District Court and was remanded without a plea until his next scheduled appearance in the South Island city's High Court on April 5.

Mass shootings, and violent crime in general, are rare in New Zealand, a country of almost 5 million people.

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

Two other people remain in custody, although their link to the attack is unknown.

As many as 49 other victims were being treated for gunshot wounds in hospital around New Zealand after the attack.

None of those arrested had a criminal history or was on any watchlist in New Zealand or Australia. Two explosive devices attached to suspects' vehicles have now been found and they have been disarmed.

"An expert testified before parliament in 2016 that it was only a matter of time, before a mass shooting occurred in NZ", he said.

"We're now in contact with the Muslim leadership in the community to come up with a safety plan for them", said Ehalt.

The gunman livestreamed the attack on Facebook and posted a manifesto that was filled with anti-immigrant, white supremacist and Islamophobic rhetoric.

"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack", Ardern said earlier on Friday, noting that numerous victims could be migrants or refugees.

One man who said he was at the Al Noor mosque told media the gunman burst into the mosque as worshippers were kneeling for prayers.

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That attack killed at least 41 people, while an assault on a second mosque in the city not long after killed several more.

"On behalf of all Torontnians, we send condolences to the families & friends of those killed in Christchurch & those injured in this heinous attack".

Facebook said it had deleted the gunman's accounts "shortly after the livestream commenced" after being alerted by police.

"He had a big gun. he came and started shooting everyone in the mosque, everywhere."

"Horrified to hear of Christchurch mosque shootings".

"What has happened in Christchurch is an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence".

Bulgaria's chief prosecutor said his country launched a probe on Friday into a November 2018 visit by the suspect.

Ms Ardern has also vowed to toughen the country's gun laws after she said the attacker had used five firearms in the attack, including two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and a lever action firearm.

National Deputy Director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs Dr Bryce Wakefield said New Zealand's gun laws "were known for being particularly lax".

Christchurch was the home of these victims. "I want each and every member of our city's Muslim community to know that your city supports you, your city is dedicated to protecting you and your city respects and embraces you, just as Toronto embraces people of all backgrounds".

There are people who I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world.

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