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'Manifesto' sent to PM before attack

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 16/03/2019 Freya Noble

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office says it was among dozens to receive a copy of the alleged Christchurch mosque shooter's "manifesto" minutes before an attack that killed 49 people.

A spokesman from Ardern's office confirmed the document was sent to a generic address not checked by the prime minister herself, as part of a bulk email that also went a number of senior New Zealand political figures and large number of domestic and international media organisations.

The message, received less than 10 minutes before the attack on Friday, did not set out what was about to happen, he said

a group of people sitting at a table with a cake: Members of the public mourn at a flower memorial near the Al Noor Masjid on Deans Rd in Christchurch. © AAP Members of the public mourn at a flower memorial near the Al Noor Masjid on Deans Rd in Christchurch.

"There was no opportunity to stop it.'

The document had been immediately sent to security and the police.

A dozen people are still critical and at least one child is among the dead as New Zealand remains in shock and grief after twin shootings at mosques.

At around 1.40pm yesterday Australian Brenton Tarrant allegedly stormed Masjid Al Noor and Linwood Masjid, and opened fire. Two people are still in custody.

The death toll stands at 49, and 39 people are being cared for in Christchurch Hospital. Twelve of them are critical. A four-year-old girl has been transferred to the Starship Hospital in Auckland.

CHRISTCHURCH TERROR ATTACK: How the horror unfolded

IN PICTURES: New Zealand mourns mosque massacre victims

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed this afternoon that her government will look into changing New Zealand's gun laws, in light of the revelation that the alleged Christchurch gunman's weapons yesterday appeared to have been modified.

"Charges have been laid, we can expect additional charges will be appearing in the high court on the fifth of April, so there is obviously a process that needs to be gone through here," she said.

She also announced compensation would be provided for families of the victims.

The massacre was described as an "act of terror brought to our shores and rained down upon us" by New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern, as the Australian gunman fronted court over the attack.

a man smiling for the camera: Yama and Omar Nabi pictured outside the Christchurch District Court this morning. © AAP Yama and Omar Nabi pictured outside the Christchurch District Court this morning.

ACTS OF HEROICISM

Of the 49 victims, only a small number have so far been identified.

New Zealand authorities are working quickly to move all the bodies out of the mosques and through the coroner’s office so they can be returned to their loved ones.

For an Islamic funeral burial is traditionally within 24 hours of death.

Omar Nabi said his father Haji-Daoud Nabi, 71, who moved to New Zealand from Afghanistan 30 years ago, was among those killed the Deans Ave Mosque in Christchurch yesterday.

a man wearing glasses: Naeem Rashid, originally from Abbottabad in Pakistan, and his son, were named as being among the 49 victims killed in the terror attack yesterday. © Supplied Naeem Rashid, originally from Abbottabad in Pakistan, and his son, were named as being among the 49 victims killed in the terror attack yesterday.

Mr Nabi said his father, who ran the Afghan Association, was killed as he tried to save another person from the gunman.

He told Stuff: "I got told by my best friend's father to him, that he leaped on somebody else to save their life.

"He jumped in the firing line to save somebody else's life and he has passed away."

Another victim of the Christchurch mosque attacks tried to wrestle the gunman’s weapon off him in a desperate bid to save others, it has emerged.

Naeem Rashid, originally from Abbottabad in Pakistan, and his son, were named as being among the 49 victims killed in the terror attack yesterday.

Witnesses and friends have told of Mr Rashid’s heroic actions as he desperately tried to save the lives of those inside the mosque.

a group of people posing for the camera: Brenton Tarrant, 28, today faced court in New Zealand. © AAP Brenton Tarrant, 28, today faced court in New Zealand.

THE ACCUSED

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, today faced court in New Zealand. He has been charged with one count of murder. He did not apply for bail, or for his name to be suppressed.

It is understood he spent his childhood in Grafton, in regional NSW, in what he described as a fairly normal upbringing.

His former employer, gym manager Tracey Gray, said he worked at Big River Squash and Fitness Centre for several years as a personal trainer.

"He was professional, he was punctual, reliable... as normal as one person to the next," she said.

a person posing for the camera: Grafton residents who knew Tarrant as a resident have told 9News they remember him as a 'relatively normal' person. © Supplied Grafton residents who knew Tarrant as a resident have told 9News they remember him as a 'relatively normal' person.

"He never showed any extremes or extremist views or any crazy behaviour."

Ms Gray said Tarrant passionately worked in a program that offered free training to kids in the community.

"He always seemed to embody the philosophies of the fitness industry which is that we are inclusive and we accept all shapes of sizes and all fitness abilities and we are here to help and improve and help people," she said.

Shortly after his father passed away from cancer at the age of 49 in 2010, Tarrant left his job at the gym to travel.

Shortly before the shooting, Grafton allegedly posted links to a manifesto titled ‘The Great Replacement’ declaring his intentions.

Grafton residents who knew Tarrant as a resident have told 9News they remember him as a 'relatively normal' person who worked at a local gym.

Bulgaria's chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov confirmed today that Tarrant traveled to the Balkan country last year from November 9 to 15.

He said Tarrant rented a car and toured more than a dozen cities, visiting historic sites and was mainly interested in battles between Christians and the Ottoman army.

The Interior Ministry said Bulgaria is coordinating with counterterrorism teams from various countries, including the United States.

THE WORLD REACTS

There has been an outpouring of grief from around the world.

The Queen of England released a statement, as did President Donald Trump who expressed sympathy for the victims who died at "places of worship turned into scenes of evil killing." But he declined to join expressions of mounting concern about white nationalism, When asked whether he thought it was a rising threat around the world, he responded, "I don't really."

"I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess," Trump said. "If you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that's the case. I don't know enough about it yet. But it's certainly a terrible thing."

"I didn't see it. I didn't see it," he said. "But I think it's a horrible event ... a horrible, disgraceful thing and a horrible act."

Politicians in Pakistan and India have also expressed their grief, and shared messages of support to families who may have lost their loved ones.

with AAP

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