NZ gun ownership is among highest in the world

CLASH The men attack the car

Two Muslim organizations in the Chicago area said they were stepping up patrols and other security measures Friday after a mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand killed at least 49 people and wounded dozens more, but Chicago police said they were not aware of any local threats.

Brenton Tarrant appeared in court on Saturday charged with murder over the attack.

The University of Toronto is condemning the horrific attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, where a man shot and killed 49 people and injured 48 more.

He was remanded in custody and is set to reappear in court April 5.

Ardern said Tarrant was a licensed gun owner who had legally bought the five guns used in the crimes.

"The regulation of guns in New Zealand is categorised as restrictive", say the authors of the database. Tarrant said nothing, entered no plea to the charge and did not apply to have his name withheld.

Tarrant, 28, was handcuffed and wearing a white prison jumpsuit when he quietly walked into the courtroom.

"We New Zealanders were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone this racism, or because we are an enclave of extremism, we were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things", she said.

Before the attack, a man who identified himself as a white man from Australia allegedly posted a 74-page, hate-filled screed online, and then live-streamed the killings on Facebook.

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Many of you will have seen that Air New Zealand has cancelled all turboprop flights out of Christchurch tonight and will review the situation in the morning.

Mr Sayed, who has been living in New Zealand for over 10 years, told Indian broadcaster NDTV that he had witnessed the man "creep up behind the shooter and hold him until his gun dropped".

The news felt particularly jarring for a community still in shock from the 2017 shooting at a Quebec mosque that killed six people, she said, adding Canada's close political and societal kinship with New Zealand made the latest shooting feel "weirdly close to home".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison looks at floral tributes to the victims of the Christchurch terror attack during a visit to the Lakemba Mosque.

Tarrant wrote of Muslims as "invaders", and defined the goal of his attack as "to show the invaders that our land will never be their land", and that "our homeland" will remain as long as white people survive.

In New Zealand, police officers don't routinely carry firearms.

"His grandchildren really miss him and some of them don't even know that he is no more with us". Tarrant lived in Dunedin, on New Zealand's South Island, and was a member of the Bruce Rifle Club, according to media reports which quoted club members saying he often practiced shooting an AR-15, which is a lightweight semi-automatic rifle. Versions of the video reportedly persisted on the sites for hours after the shootings. "Lots of love for our Muslim brothers" read a handwritten card on a wall of flowers in a historic part of the city that stretched a full block.

WORLD CONDEMNATION Leaders around the world expressed sorrow and disgust at the attacks, with some deploring the demonization of Muslims.

Ardern was asked if she agrees with Trump's remarks that white nationalism is not on the rise. "It was his intention to continue his attack", the prime minister said.

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