A man in his late 20s has been charged with murder, while two further men and a woman have also been detained by police. This follows today’s attack on two mosques in Christchurch, with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern describing this as one of the country’s “darkest days”. A gunman live streamed the attack on Facebook, identifying himself as an Australian national. He gave his name as Brenton Tarrant, although details are still emerging.

To date, 49 people have died in the attack, and it is the deadliest in New Zealand’s history.

“These are people who I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand, and in fact, have no place in the world,” said Ardern in a press conference.

The first reports of the gun attack came from Al Noor mosque, located in central Christchurch. Another mosque in the city’s Linwood neighbourhood was then attacked. Improvised explosive devices were also found on vehicles and defused by police.

UK PM describes attack as 'sickening act of violence'

Vigils are being organised across the UK in support of the victims, and a minute’s silence was observed today in the House of Commons.

Prime Minister Theresa May expressed that, "my thoughts are with all of those affected by this sickening act of violence.”

Meanwhile, royal couples William and Kate, alongside Harry and Meghan, have released a joint statement in which they state, "No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship. This senseless attack is an affront to the people of Christchurch and New Zealand and the broader Muslim community.”

Police presence around mosques in the UK has been stepped up as a precautionary measure.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu announced plans to add patrols to mosques around the country, stating, “We are standing together with our Muslim communities and all those shocked and horrified by this terrorist attack in New Zealand.”

In the US, White House National Security Advisor John Bolton stated, “We’re obviously greatly disturbed on what seems to be a terror attack, this hate crime in New Zealand.” Former President Barack Obama tweeted, “Michelle and I send our condolences to the people of New Zealand.

We grieve with you and the Muslim community. All of us must stand against hatred in all its forms.”

European nations continue to take a high-alert approach to prevent terrorism. In November, a grenade-shaped belt buckle caused evacuations at Madrid and Barcelona train stations. Earlier last year, singer Ariana Grande spoke of how the Manchester Arena bombings affected her in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

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