Death toll rises to 50 in Christchurch mosque attacks, says New Zealand Police



ANI |
Updated:
Mar 17, 2019 03:33 IST

Wellington [New Zealand], Mar 17 (ANI): The death toll in Friday’s terror attacks at two mosques in Christchurch rose to 50 with victims ranging in age from two years to over 60 years, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said on Sunday.

He informed that 50 people were wounded in the twin attacks.

Giving out details of those injured, Bush said that 36 of them are undergoing treatment at Christchurch Hospital and three persons, including a child, remain critical at Auckland’s Starship Hospital, New Zealand Herald reported.

The country’s police chief also confirmed that Brenton Harrison Tarrant, the 28-year-old Australian-born suspect was the sole attacker who carried out the Friday’s attacks at Linwood Mosque and Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch.

Two other persons, a man and woman, who were arrested after the attacks were not linked to the attacker. While the woman was let off without any charges, the man was charged with firearm offences.

Lauding the police officers for stopping a rampaging Tarrant, Bush said the suspect was believed to be a “direct threat” and used a modified A-class weapon.

Meanwhile, citizens across the country have donated NZ$ 4.3 million for the families of the victims of Friday’s attacks.

Tarrant, who appeared before a Christchurch court on murder charges on Saturday, was remanded in custody without plea until April 5.

The terror attack suspect, who live-streamed for about 17 minutes his rampage through two mosques in the city, is an Australian-born citizen and is a resident of Dunedin, situated around 360 km south of Christchurch.

Tarrant was wearing white prison clothing and was barefoot and handcuffed. Flanked by two police officers, the accused apparently showed no signs of remorse as he smirked when media persons photographed him during the hearing and was seen making the white power gesture.

Condemning the terror strike, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had described the attack as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days” and said it “appears to have been well planned”. She asserted that the country “will not and cannot be shaken” by the attack.

Ardern underlined that the country’s gun laws will undergo changes and become stricter.

Hundreds of people across the country held peace vigils in memory of the victims who died in the twin attacks. (ANI)

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