Victims of New Zealand attack, 49 people had lost their lives


Victims of New Zealand attack, 49 people had lost their lives.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says gun laws will change in light of Friday’s shootings in Christchurch where 49 people had lost their lives.

She said the main offender was in possession of a gun licence, obtained last November. Five guns were used in the attack including two semi-automatic weapons.

Ardern said more work will be done to trace the guns but made one thing clear: “Our gun laws will change.”

A 28-year-old man has been charged with murder and two others are in custody after the shootings at two Christchurch mosques. Another person was arrested earlier on Friday, but it was not related to the shootings.

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Forty-one people had died at the Deans Ave mosque, while seven had died at Linwood and one in hospital.

“It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack,” Ardern said.

It appeared to have been “well-planned”, she said.

Canterbury District Health Board chief executive David Meates said 48 people with gunshot wounds were also being treated at Christchurch Hospital, and others had presented to other health facilities around the city.

The patients ranged from young children to adults and their injuries ranged from critical to minor. Some would need multiple surgeries and some had been taken to other health facilities around the country.

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People have been asked to stay away from Christchurch Hospital unless it was essential. There is no access to the hospital from Riccarton Ave.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said local police had committed “some absolute acts of bravery” to arrest several people following the shootings.

Ardern said one of the people in custody had publicly stated they were Australian born.

“These are people who I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world.

“While we do not have any reason to believe at this stage that there are other suspects, we are not assuming that at this stage. The joint intelligence group has been deployed and police are putting all of their resources into this situation,” she said.

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Bush said two improvised explosive devices were found attached to one vehicle and were defused by Defence Force staff.

Police were setting up a facility for people to get more information about loved ones potentially affected.

He asked Christchurch residents to stay inside and said all mosques around the country should shut their doors until further notice.

“We urge New Zealanders to stay vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111.”

Officers would have immediate access to firearms, he said.


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