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Right-wing senator blames Muslims for terror attack at New Zealand mosque

16 March 2019

On Friday, 49 people were killed by a gunman in two attacks on mosques in Christchurch, which New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described as a "terror attack". Answering questions from reporters, Ardern said all options to restrict gun violence would be considered.

"Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch..."

The attack has been condemned across the globe, with leaders from Pakistan, Turkey, Britain, Germany, Israel, Jordan, Japan and the European Union sending their condolences and offering support to New Zealand.

The prime minister said early on Saturday that she had received "messages of condolence from around the world" and worldwide leaders including Donald Trump, the USA president, who has been criticised for his hostility towards Muslims. "He asked what support the U.S. could provide".

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The shooter's alleged 18-page manifesto reportedly credits Donald Trump and Candace Owens as inspirations for the shooting. David Gray went on a rampage, killing 12 people, including four children and a police officer. Arden said that person was an armed member of the public who was trying to help police at the scene. According to law enforcement officials, the man has been charged with murder and is scheduled to appear in a Christchurch court on Saturday.

Ardern described the main suspect as having visited New Zealand "sporadically" during worldwide travels. The police also noted that two other people remain in custody. "They were not a resident of Christchurch", she said. Seven were killed at the Linwood mosque nearby, and one victim passed away at the hospital.

A national report that reviewed their gun laws was released in 1997 and, at the time, they estimated that there were between 700,000 and 1,000,000 firearms owned by New Zealand civilians, according to the police. One of those injured is a five-year-old girl.

Right-wing senator blames Muslims for terror attack at New Zealand mosque