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

New Zealand mosque shooting: At least 49 killed after gunmen open fire

A teacher died in hospital after being wounded when he tried to grab a gun from the killer during the first of two attacks on Christchurch mosques. A raft of further charges are expected.

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.

Tarrant, who was reportedly wearing a tunic and was handcuffed, did not apply for bail or to have his name suppressed and has been remanded in custody without plea until April 5. Two improvised explosive devises were found in a suspect's vehicle. Injuries ranged from minor to critical.

A suspected gunman broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on one mosque in the city of Christchurch, mirroring the carnage played out in video games, after publishing a "manifesto" in which he denounced immigrants.

Mass shootings are very rare in New Zealand, which tightened its gun laws to restrict access to semi-automatic rifles in 1992, two years after a mentally ill man shot dead 13 people in the South Island town of Aramoana.

TRT World's Jacob Brown explains.

Police later said one of the arrests didn't relate to the shootings.

"With that said, our friends in the Muslim community are now reeling from one of the most horrific and appalling terrorist attacks to ever target their community", he wrote.

Alphabet Inc's YouTube said: "Please know we are working vigilantly to remove any violent footage".

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.

A still image taken from video circulated on social media apparently taken by a gunman and posted online live as the attack unfolded shows him entering a mosque in Christchurch New Zealand Mar 15 2019. Social Media Website  Handout via REUTERS TV
There were bodies all over, witnesses recall

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that an Australian citizen was arrested in New Zealand's mosque shootings.

A lockdown on all schools in Christchurch has been lifted, but the city remains on high alert.

"There is no guarantee the risk is limited to Canterbury and we need all New Zealanders to be extra vigilant", police said in the morning.

He had livestreamed the shooting on Facebook. That was almost 30 years ago and was the deadliest shooting in New Zealand's history, until Friday.

The visiting Bangladesh cricket team was arriving for prayers at one of the mosques when the shooting started but all members were safe, a team coach told Reuters.

New Zealand Cricket said they had chose to cancel the test, which was scheduled to start at Hagley Oval on Saturday, after discussions with the Bangladesh Cricket Board. In Scotland, the shooting of 16 students and a teacher in March 1996 prompted the banning of private ownership of handguns in the United Kingdom, and after the Port Arthur massacre where 35 people were killed in a series of shootings, Austrailia enacted widespread tightening of gun laws.

Prosecutors in Bulgaria launched a probe into a recent visit to the country by the terrorist behind the attack.

The attack shocked the local Muslim population, many of whom had come to New Zealand as refugees.

Christchurch is home to almost 400,000 people and is sometimes called the Garden City. It has been rebuilding since an natural disaster in 2011 killed 185 people and destroyed many downtown buildings.

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