Death toll from New Zealand's Christchurch mosque attacks rises to 49

Christchurch, Mar 15: The death toll from attacks on two mosques of New Zealand's Christchurch rose to 49 and 48 others were wounded, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said on Friday. 

Speaking at a press conference in Wellington, Bush said a man has been charged with murder and will appear in court on Saturday. Three others were apprehended.

A number of fire arms were recovered from the two mosques, Bush added.

New Zealand's state-owned television network TVZ, citing Bush, reported that one of the attacks which happened at a mosque called Masjid Al Noor, took 41 lives. An attack at a mosque in a different part of the city killed seven people. One person died later in a hospital.

According to local media, at least two gunmen opened fire at two separate mosques in Christchurch on Friday.

Two explosive devices attached to cars have also been decommissioned by police.

The national security level in New Zealand has been raised from low to high.

"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack," New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a press conference in Wellington, adding that the attack appeared to have been "well-planned."

Earlier, Ardern, while speaking to public, said "This is one of New Zealand's darkest days. My thoughts are with Christchurch."

"It is an unprecedented violence in New Zealand. There is no place for such extreme violence in New Zealand."

Trump condemns 'horrible massacre' in New Zealand, says US stands by country

Washington: US President Donald Trump on Friday said in a statement that he condemns the "horrible" terrorist attack in New Zealand, where a gunman killed 49 people and wounded dozens more after opening fire at two mosques.

"My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The US stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!" Trump said in statement on Twitter.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a separate statement condemning the attack.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate," Sanders said in the statement.

Earlier on Friday, a gunman opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The country's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the shooting a terrorist act.

A total of 49 people are believed to have been killed, and more than 30 others injured. Four people suspected of involvement in the attack have been detained. One person was charged with murder.

Putin denounces New Zealand mosque attacks

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin called Friday's attacks on civilians in two mosques of New Zealand's Christchurch "shocking in its violence and cynicism."

In a condolence message to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Putin said he hopes that "every person involved in this crime will sustain a well-deserved punishment."

The president said that Russians share the grief of those who lost their loved ones and hope for a speedy recovery of the injured.

Moscow is shocked by the terrible crime in New Zealand and expresses deep sorrow and support for the country's people, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told a briefing.

At least 49 people were killed and 48 others wounded in the attacks on two mosques of New Zealand's Christchurch earlier in the day. (Xinhua)