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NEW ZEALAND is in mourning after a self-styled white supremacist shot dead 49 Muslim worshippers and injured dozens in terror attacks at two mosques in Christchurch.
Lead suspect Brenton Tarrant will appear in court tomorrow charged with murder. During Friday prayers, Tarrant shot dead a man who had greeted him with “welcome brother” at Al Noor Mosque.
The 28-year old Australian then opened fire on dozens more worshippers while livestreaming the massacre on social media.
The racist attack came just a day before marches and demonstrations against racism take place across the world to mark Anti-racism Day.
Forty-one people were murdered there and a further seven were killed in a co-ordinated attack on Linwood Islamic Centre. One person died at the Christchurch Hospital.
According to reports, early moments of the 16-minute livestream show Tarrant driving his car toward Al Noor Mosque listening to a Serbian song celebrating war criminal Radovan Karadzic, who was found guilty of genocide against Bosnian Muslims in 2016.
New Zealand police confirmed the recovery of a number of guns at the mosques. Tarrant’s rifles were covered in white supremacist graffiti.
The number 14 is visible on the rifles, likely referring to the 14 words of white supremacist slogan “we must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”
Two men and one woman were confirmed to be in custody today relating to the mosque shootings.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the shootings as terrorism and one of the country’s “darkest days.”
Speaking briefly in a television broadcast she said: “Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home — and it is their home.
“They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand. There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence.”
In a “manifesto,” Tarrant described himself as an ethno-nationalist and “eco-fascist.” He claims to have briefly met with Norwegian fascist Anders Breivik who shot dead 69 socialists at a Workers Youth League summer camp on the island of Utoya in 2011.
Tarrant also claimed to have been inspired by the Finsbury Park Mosque terror attack carried out by Darren Osborne who was jailed for life last February after he drove a van into Muslim worshippers. Osborne killed one man and injured many more.
Osborne had said that he wanted to kill Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn — who was punched on the back of his head by a man at Finsbury Park Mosque earlier this month.
He has also called for London Mayor Sadiq Khan, whom he calls a “Pakistani Muslim invader,” to be killed.
Demos across the world tomorrow — including in London, Glasgow and Cardiff in Britain — will rally against Islamophobia and fascism ahead of the UN’s Anti-Racism Day next Thursday.
On Friday, Mr Corbyn laid a wreath at a vigil outside the New Zealand High Commission in London. He told attendees: “We will not allow these people to divide us, we will stand in solidarity with all those who suffered egregiously in New Zealand.”
Speaking at a service at Finsbury Park Mosque after Friday prayers he said: “An attack on a mosque, an attack on a synagogue, an attack on a church, an attack on a temple is an attack on all of us.
“So, those people who’ve died in New Zealand, that’s an attack on all of us. The only answer is one of respect for each other, support for each other, and solidarity.”
Speaking at East London Mosque, Mr Khan announced that policing will be increased at places of worship in London over the coming days.
He added: “We may be more than 11,000 miles away from Christchurch in New Zealand but we feel the ripples of hatred, we feel the ripples of fear and we feel the ripples of sorrow of our brothers and sisters in Christchurch.”
Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand president Mustafa Farouk said his organisation was “seeking the prayers and support of all New Zealanders for the victims of this senseless attack.
“We ask our Muslim brothers and sisters to remain calm and display common sense. We are resolved to maintain cohesion and peace among all New Zealanders.”
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