A right-wing extremist, who filmed himself rampaging through two mosques in the quiet New Zealand city of Christchurch killing 49 worshippers, appeared in court on a murder charge today.
Australian-born 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant appeared in the dock wearing handcuffs and a white prison shirt, sitting impassively as the judge read a single murder charge against him.
A raft of further charges are expected.
Tarrant didn't request bail, next hearing scheduled for April 5
The former fitness-instructor and self-professed fascist occasionally turned to look at media present in court during the brief hearing that was held behind closed doors for security reasons.
He didn't request bail and was taken into custody until his next court appearance scheduled for April 5.
The Christchurch attack is thought to be the deadliest directed against Muslims in the West in modern times.
42 people are still being treated in hospital for injuries
42 people are still being treated in hospital for injuries, including a four-year-old child. Outside the court, guarded by heavily armed police in body armor, the son of 71-year-old Afghan man Daoud Nabi demanded justice. "It's outrageous, the feeling is outrageous," he said.
Two Jordanians, one Saudi citizen killed in the attack
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today said the victims were from across the Muslim world, with Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia, among the countries rendering consular assistance.
Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel informed that one Saudi citizen was killed and another wounded in the attack.
Meanwhile, the Jordanian foreign minister also stated that at least two of its citizens were among the dead.
Shooter wasn't on any watchlist, didn't have criminal record: PM
Pakistan foreign ministry spokesman Mohammed Faisal said that five citizens of his country were missing.
Speaking to the press, the prime minister described the spree killing as a terrorist attack and said the shooter, who was not on any watchlist and did not have a criminal record, had legally purchased the two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and lever-action gun he used during the attack.
Our gun laws will change, vowed the Prime Minister
Ardern said, "The offender was in possession of a gun license obtained in November 2017, and he started purchasing the weapons the following month."
"While work is being done as to the chain of events that led to both the holding of gun license and possession of weapons, I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change," she vowed.
The gunman live-streamed the footage of killing people on Facebook
The gunman documented his radicalization and two-year preparation in a lengthy, meandering and conspiracy filled far-right "manifesto".
He also live-streamed footage of himself on Facebook going room-to-room, victim to victim, shooting the wounded from close range as they struggled to crawl away in the main Christchurch mosque.
The widely spread video was taken down from Facebook on the direction of NZ police.
NZ police warned web users to not share the footage
New Zealand police described the footage shot by the gunman, which AFP has verified but is not publishing, as "extremely distressing" and warned web users that they could be liable for up to 10 years in jail for sharing such "objectionable content".
Military found two IEDs in a car, neutralized it
Two other people remain in custody, although their link to the attack is unknown.
A third person, who was earlier arrested, was said to be a member of the public with a firearm who was trying to help.
Two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were found in a car and neutralized by the military, while police raided a home in Dunedin, where Tarrant was based.
Australian PM called the gunman 'an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist'
Tributes to the victims poured in from around the world.
US President Donald Trump condemned the "horrible massacre" in which "innocent people have so senselessly died", but denied that the problem of right-wing extremism was widespread.
Speaking in Sydney, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the gunman as "an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist."
The accused targeted two mosques, and his rampant shooting killed 49.
17 members of Bangladesh's cricket team escaped the deadly attack
The shooter's two targets were the Masjid al Noor mosque, where 41 were killed, and a second, smaller mosque in Linwood suburb, where seven more died.
The remaining victim succumbed in hospital.
The dead were said to include women and children.
The survivors included 17 Bangladesh's cricket team members, along with a Palestinian man, who fled after seeing someone being shot in the head.
'People started running out. Some were covered in blood'
Recalling the horrific incident, the Palestinian man, who did not wish to be named, said, "I heard three quick shots, then after about 10 seconds it started again. Then people started running out. Some were covered in blood." The attack has shocked New Zealanders.
Do not visit mosques 'anywhere in NZ,' police warn Muslims
New Zealanders are used to seeing around 50 murders a year in the entire country of 4.8 million and pride themselves on living in a welcoming place.
New Zealand is in fact the second most peaceful country globally.
In the wake of the Christchurch attacks that happened on Friday, Islam's holy day, police warned Muslims not to visit mosques "anywhere in New Zealand."
Christchurch was hit by a deadly earthquake in 2011
Christchurch, a relatively small city in New Zealand, hit headlines in 2011, when it was struck by a deadly earthquake, killing more than 180 people. The 6.3 magnitude quake trembled through Christchurch on February 22, just months after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit the city.