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New Zealand attack: anti-terror police are searching two houses in the north of the country

New Zealanders burn candles to commemorate the victims of the horrific attacks on Christchurch.
New Zealand’s anti-terrorism police searched for two homes believed to be linked to the attack on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.

Police said the houses were in New South Wales, where Brenton Tarant, the main culprit in the attacks on the Lynnwood and Elnor mosques, had been raised and killed nearly 50 people.

“The main purpose of the inspection is to formally obtain material that may assist the New Zealand police in its ongoing investigations” into the attack, which has been widely condemned, she said in an official statement.

“The community can be reassured that there is no information indicating a current or foreseeable threat to the inspection personnel,” the statement added.

Although Tarrant, 28, was raised in New South Wales, the country’s north, he spent most of the last decade outside New Zealand.

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Tarant, who has Australian citizenship, is charged with murder. The court, which last Saturday renewed his detention, is due to appear in a hearing on April 5.

Source image REUTERS
Image caption
In the center of the bouquets, a picture of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardirn embracing a veiled lady is found beneath a caption by Jacinda saying “New Zealand is their homeland … we are.”
Reports say he is expected to face more charges.

The suspect had broadcast the attack on Facebook during his execution. Manifesto also said he embraced extreme right-wing ideas and called for the killing of Muslim figures such as London’s mayor, Siddique Khan.

The police statement said the Tarant family were helping them in the investigation.

The authorities said they hoped to be able to hand over the bodies of the victims to their relatives by Wednesday.

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At least 34 people are still being treated in hospitals, including a four-year-old girl in critical condition.

The New Zealand government is set to meet to discuss ways to change weapons acquisition laws following the attack on the mosques.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardenne has revealed that Tarant has an arms license and owns five rifles.

The government is expected to consider a semi-automatic arms embargo of the type used by the attacker to attack the mosques.

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