Four in custody following NZ mosque shooting

Australian media broadcast footage from Christchurch shootings despite police warnings

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush says the death toll has increased to 49 in shootings at two mosques.

A gunman broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on one mosque in the city of Christchurch, mirroring the carnage played out in video games, after publishing a "manifesto" in which he denounced immigrants. "Everybody just ran to the back doors to save themselves", one eye witness said.

Brenton Tarrant posted a 73-page manifesto on twitter before he started to kill people, he described them as a terrorist attack.

"Just heard news of the devastating reports from Christchurch, New Zealand".

28-year-old Brenton Tarrant who is from Australia filmed himself going to the mosque while listening to folk music, he also showed around 6 guns lying on the floor of his vehicle.

New Zealand was placed on its highest security threat level, Ardern said, adding that "this can now only be described as a terrorist attack". Innocent people being murdered as they worship is horrific and heartbreaking.

She also said that four individuals had been "apprehended" by police. It is the busiest day for many mosques around the world when Muslims convene for Friday prayers.

Qureshi said that he has made contact with Pakistan's ambassador to New Zealand to gather details of the terror attack.

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the gunman responsible for shootings was an Australian-born citizen. Police also defused explosive devices in a auto. "At that moment, I realised it was really serious", the man said.

On Saturday, outside one of the two mosques, 32-year-old Ash Mohammed pushed through police barricades in hopes of finding out what happened to his father and two brothers, whose cellphones rang unanswered.

Ardern said New Zealand was not a target because it is a safe harbour of those who hate, nor because New Zealand condones racism or is an enclave for racism.

"It's a big mosque and there were more than 200 people inside". He said he was not a member of any organisation, but had donated to and interacted with many nationalist groups, though he acted alone and no group ordered the attack.

His manifesto was a welter of often politically contradictory views, touching on numerous most combustible issues of the day, among them the Second Amendment right to own guns, Muslim immigration, terrorist attacks and the wealthiest 1 percent. It is the second most-populous city in New Zealand behind Auckland and Wellington.

Christchurch, sometimes called the Garden City, has been rebuilding since an natural disaster in 2011 killed 185 people and destroyed many downtown buildings.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh cricket team's tour of New Zealand has been called off in the wake of the attack.

The shootings took place at two separate mosques in the Canterbury region of the city.

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