Accounts emerge of heroism in New Zealand mosques; bodies to be released


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Sunday said she received the Christchurch gunman's "manifesto" barely nine minutes before the attack.

According to spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal, Zeeshan Raza, his father Ghulam Hussain and mother Karam Bibi have been confirmed to have died in Friday's terrorist attacks on two mosques in New Zealand.

A Pakistani man, who died trying to tackle the gunman behind a deadly shooting at a New Zealand mosque, will be honoured posthumously with a national award, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said.

Following the horrendous massacre, a 28-year-old Australian man, Brenton Tarrant, has been charged with murder.

Tarrant was remanded into custody and is expected to appear in court again on April 5.

Police officials said they understand the religious duty of the Islamic faith to bury the deceased as soon as possible and are "working closely with the Chief Coroner to do everything possible to expedite the process".

Speaking on the email earlier today, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said: "It was forwarded to us sometime during the day".

Police then rammed what they believed to be the gunman's vehicle and arrested Tarrant.

For nearly 3 days forensics teams have been working through multiple crime scenes - at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques as well as a house in Dunedin, the southeastern city where the Tarrant lived.

Ardern said by the time a police plan was in place, the 911 number was already buzzing, shots had been fired.

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West Australian leaders are united in their message that hate and division have no place in the state after the "abhorrent act of violence" in New Zealand.

"As a Member of our Pacific community, we stand with you shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart in this hard time coming to grips with what has happened".

"This is the mosque they always went to".

Tarrant was also purportedly inspired to commit the mosque shootings by Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Oslo in 2011.

The Pacific Music Awards organisation in New Zealand also expressed its shock and solidarity over the shootings.

Church services for victims of the attack have been held across the country, including at Christchurch's "Cardboard Cathedral", a temporary structure built after much of the central city was destroyed in a 2011 quake. "Hatred always is. I'm not going to give airtime to the motives disposed by this cowardly person who has attacked a vulnerable community in their time of worship", Dalziel said.

The suspect had not been on the radar of security services in New Zealand or Australia.

The cabinet will also hear from intelligence agencies about how a self-avowed fascist legally purchased and trained to use two semi-automatic weapons, reportedly AR-15s, two shotguns and a lever-action gun without drawing the attention of the authorities.

The country's gun laws are largely unchanged since 1992, when controls were tightened after the 1990 Aramoana massacre, in which a man killed 13 people with a semi-automatic rifle.

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