New Zealand gun laws to change: Ardern

Brenton Tarrant appeared in court charged with the murder of 49 people

Hospital officials said some of the wounded were in a critical condition.

Tarrant, handcuffed and wearing a white prison suit, stood silently in the Christchurch District Court where he was remanded without a plea.

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.

Interfaith prayers near the memorial in Christchurch.

Schools across the city were placed on lockdown, as well as the Christchurch hospital.

In Wellington, a minute's silence was observed before the NRL game between the NZ Warriors and Canterbury Bulldogs - with the stadium opened free to the public.

Tarrant allegedly took part in terrorist attacks conducted at the Al Noor and Linwood Masjid mosques on Friday afternoon.

On Saturday, outside one of the two mosques, 32-year-old Ash Mohammed pushed through police barricades in hopes of finding out what happened to his father and two brothers, whose mobile phones rang unanswered.

Wasseim Alsati, believed to have migrated from Jordan in 2014, was reportedly shot four times in the attack, including in his back and stomach. I am really exhausted. A woman who said she was a colleague of his when he worked as a personal trainer in the Australian city of Grafton said she was shocked by the allegations against him.

"They are us", she said. But in these cases, where they are video-streaming it live, it just adds to the sickness of it.

"It's been a pleasure to know you all guys. God bless you all".

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Saturday promised to reform the country's gun laws.

"This is not New Zealand", she said in another statement, quoted by news agency ANI.

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Word of the attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand - killing 49 people during Friday prayers - had already become common knowledge to most in attendance at Windsor Mosque on Northwood Street.

Police said three people were in custody.

"We will find a time and a place for us to come together and to share that sense of grief and loss, but also that sense of love and compassion and support".

"I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change". "New Zealand is home for all of us, and this despicable act will not change that feeling of closeness in us".

"He used to tell us life was good in New Zealand and its people are good and welcoming".

None of those arrested had a criminal history or was on any watchlist in New Zealand or Australia.

Asked how it felt to be in the same building as the accused mass murderer, Ms Ardern was unflinching in her response.

"My daughter rang my mum [and] said Dad didn't make it".

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". Two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were found in a vehicle and neutralised by the military, while police raided a home in the southern city of Dunedin, where Ardern said the suspect was based.

Speaking in Sydney, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison described the gunman as "an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist".

The attack has had the opposite impact, with condemnation of the bloodshed pouring in from all quarters of the globe, and calls for unity against hatred and violence.

Mourners write condolence messages in chalk along the footpaths in Christchurch.

While the mass shooting was meant to sow fear and division, President Gertler said, "we hope that ultimately those responsible will fail, utterly, in their vicious pursuit".

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