Imam of attacked New Zealand mosque says 'we still love this country'

Imam of attacked New Zealand mosque says 'we still love this country'

Police officers search the area near the Masjid Al Noor mosque, site of one of the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019.

Ardern urged the public not to share the "distressing" 17-minute video.

The suspect, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, appeared in court Saturday, charged with one count of murder.

Police also arrested a couple at a roadblock.

Police said it is in response to the deadly mass shootings in Christchurch, NZ.

Speaking to media in Wellington earlier, Ardern stressed that "now was the time for change".

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

Jacinda Ardern also confirmed that the fourth person was released.

The news felt particularly jarring for a community still in shock from the 2017 shooting at a Quebec mosque that killed six people, she said, adding Canada's close political and societal kinship with New Zealand made the latest shooting feel "weirdly close to home". "My message was sympathy and love for all Muslim communities", she said she told him. Tarrant has spent little time in Australia in the past four years and only had minor traffic infractions on his record.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday called the massacre the work of an "extremist right-wing, violent terrorist".

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said Friday night that a man had been charged with murder.

An eyewitness of one of two Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque shootings says he escaped through the side door as the gunman opened fire.

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

Police officers search the area near the Masjid Al Noor mosque site of one of the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch New Zealand Saturday

Two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were found in a auto and neutralised by the military, while police raided a home in the southern city of Dunedin, where Ms Ardern said the suspect was based. He said they had disabled one and were in the process of disabling the second.

In gruesome video footage, which The Post is not publishing, the attacker approaches the entrance to the mosque and raises his weapon.

Ardern said she had spoken to Trump, who had asked how he could help. He said one was slightly injured. "We are doing everything we can to remove it", he said.

The country's gun roots run deep, going back centuries to when European explorers first sought to conquer the territory as well as to its thriving hunting, farming and sports shooting culture.

"The shooting started slow and then it was much faster". Children's screams can be heard in the distance as he returns to his auto to get another rifle. At least 49 people died.

He said New Zealand, with a population of just under 5 million, had an estimated 1.5 million firearms.

Injured people were heard begging people for their lives.

Owners of firearms in New Zealand are required to have a license but they are not required to register their firearms, unlike in Australia. "The people of New Zealand are in our thoughts and prayers". Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. At the time this article was published, more than 7,000 people from around the world contributed.

New Zealand is generally considered to be a welcoming country for migrants and refugees. Still, public debatebegan growing late a year ago about re-examining the country's firearms laws.

"They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home".

Yet many observers - including people of colour, and immigrant and religious minority communities in the West - needed no official designation of the barbaric event to recognise it as an act of terror.

"Across all religions, our houses of worship are a source of refuge, of prayer, and of love; to see such a heinous and hate-filled act occur in what should be places of peace is the darkest of evils".

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