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Christchurch shootings: New Zealand mosque attack death toll rises to 49, official says

BBC reports that, Forty-nine people have been killed and at least 20 wounded in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described an alleged gunman, who had Australian citizenship, as an "extremist, right-wing" terrorist.

A man in his late twenties was charged with murder and will appear in court on Saturday morning, police confirmed.

Two other men and one woman were detained nearby and firearms seized, Police Commissioner Mike Bush said.

He said police had determined that one of the people detained was not involved in the incident, and officers were working to understand if the other two were connected.

The gunman appeared to have live-streamed footage of his rampage to Facebook, filmed with a head-mounted camera. The footage appeared to show him firing indiscriminately at men, women, and children from close range inside the Al-Noor mosque.

Police called on the public not to share the "extremely distressing" footage online. Facebook said it had removed the gunman's Facebook and Instagram accounts and was working to remove any copies of the footage, BBC reported.

The suspect was also believed to have published a manifesto outlining his intentions, in which he identified himself as a 28-year-old born in Australia and espoused far right and anti-immigrant ideology.

Police Commissioner Bush confirmed that the suspect who was charged was not known in advance to either New Zealand or Australian security services, BBC reported.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called it one of New Zealand's "darkest days". "It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack," she said, QT reported.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has told reporters the death toll has now increased to 49 lives.

Reporters in Grafton in New South Wales have also confirmed the alleged terrorist behind the mass shooting at one of the two mosques was from the area.

Social media users also continue to share footage of the shooting that was live streamed on Facebook by the Australian extremist, QT reported.

See pictures and videos below

Read more from BBC and qt.com.au

My view: This is terrible, what's wrong with the human race, Why are human beings so cruel to each other? And how do we justify acts of sheer inhumanity?, so wrong.

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