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The Latest: Saudi media says 1 citizen killed in NZ attack

By The News · 18 of March 2019 22:29:54
AP Photo,, No available, Mourners paying their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque, Saturday, March 16, 2019, Christchurch, New Zealand, where one of the two mass shootings occurred. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — The Latest on shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

The Saudi-owned satellite news channel Al-Arabiya is reporting one of two citizens of the kingdom wounded in the New Zealand mosque attack has died.

The channel, citing his family, said Mohsen al-Muzaini had succumbed to the wounds he suffered in the shooting Friday.

The channel reported Saturday that the second wounded Saudi, named as 19-year-old Aseel Ansari, was struck in the knee by a rifle round, but still was able to flee.

The attack at two mosques in Christchurch killed 49 people.

Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old man, has been arrested and charged with murder. He appeared in court earlier Saturday.

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5:25 p.m.

People across New Zealand are reaching out to Muslims in their communities and around the country the day after mass shootings at two mosques that left 49 people dead.

As a 28-year-old white supremacist stood silently before a judge on Saturday, New Zealanders everywhere volunteered acts of kindness. Some offered rides to the grocery store or volunteered to walk with their Muslim neighbors if they felt unsafe.

In other online forums, people discussed Muslim food restrictions as they prepared to drop off meals for those affected.

Brenton Harrison Tarrant appeared in court amid strict security and showed no emotion when the judge read him one murder charge. The judge said more such charges would likely follow.

Friday’s slaughter was streamed live on Facebook and took place during midday prayers.

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2:40 p.m.

A Super Rugby match between the Christchurch-based Crusaders and the Dunedin-based Highlanders has been canceled in the wake of the shootings at two mosques that killed 49 people.

New Zealand Rugby spokesman Nigel Cass said the decision to cancel Saturday’s game in Dunedin was made after an urgent meeting involving both teams, venue management and police.

Cass said police advised that the game could go ahead but both teams agreed to not proceed with the match as a mark of respect.

The Crusaders are the defending champions in Super Rugby, a competition that involves teams from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Japan and Argentina.

Crusaders chief executive Colin Mainsbridge says “yesterday’s horrific attacks have left us all feeling stunned. All other issues and considerations pale in significance.”

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1:55 p.m.

Christchurch Hospital chief Greg Robertson says seven of the 48 gunshot victims admitted after Friday’s mosque shootings in have been discharged.

Roberson says a 4-year-old girl who has been transferred to an Auckland hospital in critical condition and 11 patients who remain in Christchurch are also critically wounded.

He says: “We have had patients with injuries to most parts of the body that range from relatively superficial soft tissue injuries to more complex injuries involving the chest, the abdomen, the pelvis, the long bones and the head.”

He says many patients will require multiple operations to deal with their complex series of injuries.

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1:40 p.m.

New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush says authorities have no information about any imminent threats in the country but everyone should continue to be vigilant in the wake of mass shootings at two mosques.

Bush told a news conference that the investigation into Friday’s attacks that killed at least 49 was wide ranging and ongoing. When asked if they believed the same person was responsible for both attacks, he said he couldn’t go into details, but “we know nothing that will contradict what you’ve just suggested.”

Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old man, has been arrested and charged with murder. He appeared in court earlier Saturday.

Bush said it took 36 minutes from the first attack to the suspect’s arrest.

The gunman posted a 74-page manifesto on social media in which he identified himself as Tarrant and said he was a 28-year-old Australian and white supremacist who was out to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.

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12:10 p.m.

Australian police say the family of the suspect in the New Zealand mosque shootings is helping their investigation.

New South Wales state Police Commissioner Mick Fuller says his officers are investigating to help New Zealand police and to ensure the safety of residents in the Australian state where suspect Brenton Tarrant is from.

Fuller says Tarrant’s family is from the northern New South Wales town of Grafton and contacted police after seeing media reports of the shootings that killed at least 49.

Fuller says Tarrant has spent little time in Australia in the past four years.

Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Mick Willing says Tarrant was only known to police for “minor traffic matters.”

Willing says there’s no information to suggest any further threat in New Zealand or Australia.

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11:35 a.m.

A man suspected in at least one of the shootings that killed at least 49 people at two mosques in New Zealand has appeared briefly in court.

Two armed guards brought Brenton Tarrant into court Saturday. He showed no expression as District Court Judge Paul Kellar read one charge of murder to him.

The court appearance lasted only about a minute and he was led back out in handcuffs. He was ordered to return to court again April 5.

After Tarrant left, the judge said that while “there is one charge of murder brought at the moment, it is reasonable to assume that there will be others.”

The gunman posted a 74-page manifesto on social media in which he identified himself as Tarrant and said he was a 28-year-old Australian and white supremacist who was out to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.

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This item has been corrected to show the suspect appeared in court Saturday.

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10:50 a.m.

There was strict security at the district court in Christchurch, awaiting a court appearance by a suspect in the killing of at least 49 people at mosques.

Authorities say most if not all were killed by an immigrant-hating white supremacist.

More than 10 armed officers guarded the courtroom even before the suspect entered. Nearly 50 reporters packed the courtroom in downtown Christchurch. Only a pool video and still camera were allowed in the room.

There did not appear to be any victims’ family members there.

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10:10 a.m.

New Zealand’s prime minister says the “primary perpetrator” in the killing of at least 49 people in two Christchurch mosques was living in Dunedin, a seaside city south of Christchurch.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Saturday the Australian suspect has traveled around the world and spent sporadic periods in New Zealand.

Police say homes around a “location of interest” in Dunedin have been evacuated as a precaution. Two improvised explosive devises were found in a suspect’s car.

At least 49 people were shot to death at the mosques. Authorities say most if not all were killed by an immigrant-hating white supremacist. He will appear in court on Saturday charged with murder.

Ardern says police are still investigating whether two more suspects who were arrested were directly involved in the crimes.

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9:55 a.m.

New Zealand’s prime minister says the “primary perpetrator” in the mosque shootings was a licensed gun owner and legally acquired the five guns used in the shootings.

Jacinda Ardern said Saturday the country’s national gun laws will change after at least 49 worshippers were shot dead in the two mosques in Christchurch.

She did not specify how the laws will be changed.

The Australian suspect will appear in court on Saturday morning.

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9:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump is downplaying the threat of white nationalism in the aftermath of a self-described racist’s shooting rampage at a pair of New Zealand mosques.

Trump spoke in the Oval Office Friday, answering”I don’t, really” when asked if he felt that the racist movement was a rising threat around the world.

He said that it was “a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.”

Trump added that the shooting in Christchurch was “certainly a terrible thing.”

An immigrant-hating white nationalist killed at least 49 people gathered for weekly prayers in a live-streamed attack. Another 48 people suffered gunshot wounds.

The alleged gunman, in a rambling manifesto, deemed Trump “a symbol of renewed white identity.”

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9:45 a.m.

A man who can’t find out information about what happened to his father and two brothers in one of the New Zealand mosques that were attacked has pushed through police barricades in an effort to get closer.

A police officer stopped Ash Mohammed, who told the officer “we just want to know if they are dead or alive.”

Mohammed said Saturday that he has repeatedly called cellphones for his relatives that rang unanswered and then appeared to have run out of battery power.

He says he has not heard from his father and brother since Friday, when they went to the mosque.

Mohammed says he had planned to join them for prayers but did not because an appointment he had with a lawyer about buying a house went late.

At least 49 people were shot to death at the mosques. Authorities say most if not all were killed by an immigrant-hating white supremacist.

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9:20 a.m.

The Frenchman who coined the term “the Great Replacement” used as the title of the alleged manifesto by the New Zealand mosque attacker says his theory is “diametrically opposed” to the bloodbath at the mosques.

Renaud Camus said in an interview on Friday that the shootings by a white supremacist that killed at least 49 people are “totally contrary to what I defend.”

Camus held firm to his notion that immigrants are replacing natives in France and elsewhere. He says it is a “changing of the people” that should be combated with what he calls “re-immigration” and not with violence.

Camus is 72 and developed his theory 20 years ago.

The term has been used more recently by French politicians opposed to immigration, notably far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

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8:55 a.m.

Christchurch’s mayor says graves are being dug for the dozens of worshippers who were shot dead in two New Zealand mosques.

At least 49 people were slain during midday prayers Friday.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel says city officials on Saturday were working closely with the community on the specific requirements of a large number of Muslim funerals.

Authorities say most if not all were killed by an immigrant-hating white supremacist.

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8:40 a.m.

A senior Turkish official says the suspect arrested in the New Zealand mosque attack travelled to Turkey multiple times and spent what the official called an “extended period of time in the country.

He says the suspect may have also travelled to countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with Turkish government rules.

The official says an investigation is underway of “the suspect’s movements and contacts within the country.”

He did not say when the suspect travelled to Turkey.

— By Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey.

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8:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump is pledging “any assistance” the U.S. can give New Zealand following deadly shootings at a pair of mosques.

Trump tweeted that “we stand in solidarity with New Zealand” after speaking with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The president says “any assistance the U.S.A. can give, we stand ready to help. We love you New Zealand!”

At least 49 people were shot to death at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during midday prayers Friday.

Authorities say most if not all were killed by an immigrant-hating white supremacist.

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7:55 a.m.

Officials say nine Indian nationals or people of Indian origin are missing after the mosque attacks in Christchurch.

India’s high commissioner to New Zealand, Sanjiv Kohli, tweeted Saturday that nine people were missing and called the attack a “huge crime against humanity.”

Indian officials have not said whether the nine were believed to be living in Christchurch.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a letter to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying that “hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies.”

An immigrant-hating white nationalist killed at least 49 people gathered for weekly prayers in a live-streamed attack. Another 48 people suffered gunshot wounds.