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New Zealand Mosque Attacks Death Toll Reaches 50

Video Credit: Newsy Studio - Duration: 01:25s - Published < > Embed
New Zealand Mosque Attacks Death Toll Reaches 50

New Zealand Mosque Attacks Death Toll Reaches 50

Authorities say they're working to confirm identities and causes of death "as quickly and as sensitively as possible."

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New Zealand Mosque Attacks Death Toll Reaches 50

Devastated families are anxiously waiting to give their loved ones proper funerals after the Mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday.

On Sunday, Police Commissioner Mike Bush said authorities are working to confirm identities and cause of death but hope to hand all remains over to families by Wednesday.

He added, "We are so aware of the cultural and religious needs, so we are doing that as quickly and as sensitively as possible." Islamic law calls for the dead to be cleansed and buried as soon as possible, often within 24 hours.

The death toll in the shooting at Christchurch has reached 50, according to Bush, and more than 30 people remain in the hospital.   As of Sunday, three men who were arrested shortly after the attacks had been cleared by police and a fourth man had been charged with firearms offenses.

Brenton Harrison Tarrant seems to be the only person directly connected to the massacre, but authorities say they're not ruling out the possibility that more were involved.

Tarrant has been charged with murder.

The attacker live-streamed the shootings at Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Other mosques, like this one in Wellington, are standing in solidarity.  After the shooting, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern proposed new gun laws, including bans on semiautomatic rifles.

However, officials are still discussing the details and final decisions.

This marked the deadliest shooting in New Zealand's history.  Additional reporting from  Newsy affiliate CNN .




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