New Zealand Prime Minister Wants To Deny Mosque Shooter Notoriety

Jacinda Ardern

On the other hand, hundreds of mourners gathered in a Christchurch cemetery on Wednesday for the first funerals of those killed in the twin mosque massacre as New Zealanders braced for days of emotional farewells following the mass slayings.

Meanwhile, preparations were underway for a massive Friday prayer service to be led by the imam of one of the two New Zealand mosques where worshippers were killed.

New Zealand's futsal goalkeeper Atta Elayyan was among the victims. A 4-year-old girl was transferred to a hospital in Auckland and is in critical condition.

NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern refuses to speak the name the Australian charged over the attack, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant from New South Wales.

Two minutes' silence was chosen over the usual one minute because of the magnitude of the tragedy; a two-minute silence also took place to commemorate the Pike River explosions in 2010.

He said he was "OK with us banning semi-automatics across the board with exceptions for pest-control and that sort of thing".

He said returning the bodies to their families is an "absolute priority for family reasons, for compassionate reasons and for cultural reasons". "And today they will", said Ardern.

Social media companies have long argued that they are not responsible for what is put on their platforms but Ardern has countered that they can not simply be "all profit, no responsibility".

The scale of the attack has caused global revulsion, including for Tarrant's use of social media to livestream the carnage in real-time.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used a political rally to play parts of a video live-streamed by the gunman to Facebook - despite New Zealand's request that the distressing and violent footage not be distributed - as a tool to stoke nationalist and religious sentiment ahead of local elections on March 31.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand is immediately banning sales of military style semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines like the weapons used in last Friday's attacks on two Christchurch mosques.

"By covering terrorist attacks by Muslims dramatically more than other incidents, media frame this type of event as more prevalent", it added. "Why do I not know what you are going through to identify the body?"

He said there would be many waves of emotions to come for the families of the victims. "My expectation is that these weapons will now be returned to your suppliers and never enter into the New Zealand market again", she said.

Ezat is comforted by reports that Hussein confronted the killer, charging at him after surviving the first spray of bullets.

The Muslim call to prayer will also be broadcast nationally, she said.

"I am very sad, " Ms Ardern replied.

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