A 28-year-old man, Brenton Tarrant, has appeared in court in Christchurch charged with murder following the attack on two mosques yesterday in which 49 people have died. New Zealand police say more charges are likely to be laid. Increased Police vigilance is outside all New Zealand Mosques today.
Bridges said: “This is not something that has happened to just the Islamic community, just Christchurch. It has happened to all New Zealanders. It is foreign to everything we believe, our values, tolerance and peaceful living, and getting along with one another.”
A 28-year-old man, Brenton Tarrant, has appeared in court in Christchurch charged with murder following the attack on two mosques yesterday in which 49 people have died. New Zealand police say more charges are likely to be laid. No application for bail was made and he is due to appear in court again on 5 April.
The city has united in grief, with floral tributes being laid at mosques across the country, including at the botanic gardens close to the sites of both attacks. Religious leaders and charitable organisations have flocked to the area to offer support.
Prime minister Jacinda Ardern has said the nation’s gun laws will change after it emerged the suspect had a firearms licence. She said he began legally stockpiling weapons in 2017 and had two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns.
Two boys, aged two and 13, are among the 36 injured being treated at Christchurch hospital, with 12 operating theatres working through the night. Most of the injured will need multiple operations, said chief of surgery Greg Robertson. Four for the 49 people who were killed died on the way to hospital.
A heightened police presence is visible across the country, including at mosques and public events, and the public have been urged to remain vigilant. Commissioner Mike Bush said: “We are not searching for anyone posing a threat but that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.” The main suspect, one of four who were initially arrested, was taken into custody 36 minutes after the first emergency calls came in.
Leaders from around the world, including the Queen as head of state, have offered their condolences to those affected. Donald Trump offered sympathy and comfort during a call to Ardern but has separately said white nationalism is “not really” a growing threat when asked about the issue in light of Friday’s shooting.
Penny Wong, the leader of Australia’s opposition Labor party in the Senate and shadow foreign affairs minister, has just issued her condolences, telling the Muslim community: “We understand and we are with you.”
She said yesterday’s attacked “reminded us again of how important it is that all of us stand against hatred”.
“To the people of New Zealand, we regard you as family and today your Australian family grieves with you.”
United Nations Security Council
The full text of the UN Security Council’s statement:
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the heinous and cowardly terrorist attack that took place at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, on 15 March 2019, which resulted in at least 49 killed and many wounded.
The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the government of New Zealand and they wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.
The members of the Security Council underlined the need to hold perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the government of the New Zealand and all other relevant authorities in this regard.
The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed. They reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.