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The Royals Respond to the New Zealand Terror Attack

17 March 2019

New Zealand's Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio said he spoke to one of the Trustees of the Festival last night about the decision, and why it was made.

New Zealanders flocked to memorial sites to lay flowers and mourn the victims of the twin mosque massacres Sunday, March 17 as testimony emerged of epic heroism and harrowing suffering in the gun attack that has claimed 50 lives.

We have all been fortunate to spend time in Christchurch and have felt the warm, open-hearted and generous spirit that is core to its remarkable people.

A stream of victims' friends and relatives entered, one woman carrying sandwiches and falafel.

Labelling the attack as an act of terrorism, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed to reform the country's gun laws. "It's going to be a criminal charge against the guy who's done this, so they need to be pretty thorough", he said.

When asked if Facebook should stop live-streaming, Ms Ardern said: "Certainly, I have had contact from Sheryl Sandberg".

Two other armed suspects were taken into custody Friday while police tried to determine what role, if any, they played in the cold-blooded attack that stunned New Zealand, a country so peaceful that police officers rarely carry guns.

"I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch today", she said.

Mr Adeeb Sami's trip to New Zealand was supposed to be joyful - a chance for the Dubai-based father to surprise his twin children in time for their birthday.

Khaled Mustafa, a recent refugee from Syria, had also been killed at the Al Noor mosque, Syrian Solidarity New Zealand spokesman Ali Akil told news website Stuff.

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"I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change", Ardern told reporters on Saturday, saying a ban on semi-automatic weapons would be considered.

"We can not be deterred from the work that we need to do on our gun laws", Ardern said.

Unlike the US, the right to own a firearm is not enshrined in New Zealand's constitution. Story continues after video.

Tarrant, 28, who was living in Dunedin but is from Grafton, NSW, has been charged with one count of murder.

The AR-15 is a semi-automatic version of the United States military M16 rifle.

Imran had dropped off his father, an electrical engineer, at the Al Noor mosque on Friday and was looking for a parking space when the shooting began. The minimum legal age to own a gun in New Zealand is 16, or 18 for military-style semi-automatic weapons.

The Pacific Islands Association of non-governmental Organisations (PIANGO) also expressed its "heartfelt grief and sorrow" over the attacks.

US President Donald Trump, who condemned the attack as a "horrible massacre", was praised by the accused gunman in a manifesto posted online as "a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose".

Ms Ardern held a series of meetings in Christchurch on Saturday to assure the Muslim community their safety was top priority. "My message was sympathy and love for all Muslim communities", she said she told him. For many New Zealand was their choice, a place they actively came to and committed themselves to.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had said that the gunman was a citizen of his country.

The Royals Respond to the New Zealand Terror Attack