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New Zealand’s worst even gun massacre at Christchurch rivals 1996 Port Arthur tragedy in death toll

New Zealand’s gun massacre death toll has overtaken the Port Arthur tragedy and rivals Florida’s Orlando nightclub shooting.

The death toll in Christchurch stands at 40 but could climb higher, after a 28-year-old Australian white supremacist opened fire at a mosque during the lunch hour.

The terrorist gunman – who identified himself on Twitter as Brenton Tarrant from Grafton in northern New South Wales – live-streamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque, as Friday prayers were underway.

New Zealand ‘s gun massacre (social media video pictured) death toll has overtaken the Port Arthur tragedy and rivals Florida ‘s Orlando nightclub shooting

The death toll in Christchurch stands at 40 but could climb higher, after a 28-year-old Australian white supremacist opened fire at a mosque during the lunch hour

 The death toll in Christchurch stands at 40 but could climb higher, after a 28-year-old Australian white supremacist opened fire at a mosque during the lunch hour

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed on Friday night that at least 40 people had been killed and another 20 critically injured in the South Island’s biggest city.

Of the 40 killed, 30 of them died at the Al Noor Mosque while another 10 were murdered at the Linwood Avenue mosque. Three of those victims were outside the mosque itself.

A further 20 people are critically injured at the Christchurch Hospital emergency room.

This is a scale that is worse than Australia’s Port Arthur tragedy, in April 1996, which saw 35 people, including two young girls, shot dead in cold blood.

The gunman - who identified himself on Twitter as Brenton Tarrant (pictured) from Grafton in northern New South Wales - live-streamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque, as Friday prayers were underway

The gunman – who identified himself on Twitter as Brenton Tarrant (pictured) from Grafton in northern New South Wales – live-streamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque, as Friday prayers were underway

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed on Friday night that at least 40 people had been killed and another 20 critically injured in the South Island's biggest city

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed on Friday night that at least 40 people had been killed and another 20 critically injured in the South Island’s biggest city

That is when Martin Bryant, another 28-year-old gunman, opened fire at the historic tourist attraction, after killing two people at the nearby Seascape Guesthouse.

The unemployed killer then drove to the historic Port Arthur gaol, a popular tourist site, and began his Sunday rampage, which turned the since-demolished Broad Arrow Cafe into a scene of carnage.

At the time, it was the world’s worst peacetime shooting and the worst in Australia’s history.

John Howard, who was sworn in as Prime Minister only eight weeks earlier, used the massacre to spearhead national gun laws, which included a ban on automatic and semi-automatic firearms.

Of the 40 killed, 30 of them died at the Al Noor Mosque while another 10 were murdered at the Linwood Avenue mosque. Three of those victims were outside the mosque itself (pictured is a suspect being arrested)

Of the 40 killed, 30 of them died at the Al Noor Mosque while another 10 were murdered at the Linwood Avenue mosque. Three of those victims were outside the mosque itself (pictured is a suspect being arrested)

This is a scale that is worse than Australia's Port Arthur tragedy, in April 1996, which saw 35 people, including two young girls, shot dead in cold blood (pictured is the nearby Seascape Guesthouse where two people were killed)

This is a scale that is worse than Australia’s Port Arthur tragedy, in April 1996, which saw 35 people, including two young girls, shot dead in cold blood (pictured is the nearby Seascape Guesthouse where two people were killed)

The Port Arthur massacre occurred just seven weeks after Scotland’s Dunblane massacre, which saw 16 children and one teacher shot dead near the town of Stirling.

Port Arthur was also the world’s worst peaceful massacre until June 2016, when a 29-year-old security guard killed 49 people at the American Pulse gay nightclub at Orlando, Florida.

Just over a year later, in October 2017,  a gunman opened fire killing 58 people at the Route 91 music festival in Las Vegas.

The United States has been home to a spate of gun massacres, defined as the death of four or more people.

In April 2007, 32 people were killed at Virginia Tech when a student opened fire at Blacksburg.

Port Arthur was also the world's worst peaceful massacre until June 2016, when a 29-year-old security guard killed 49 people at the American Pulse gay nightclub (pictured) at Orlando, Florida

Port Arthur was also the world’s worst peaceful massacre until June 2016, when a 29-year-old security guard killed 49 people at the American Pulse gay nightclub (pictured) at Orlando, Florida

In December 2012, a gunman shot and killed 20 children aged between six and seven years old at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

In November 2017, a gunman opened fire at the First Baptist Church at Sutherland Springs in Texas, killing 27 people, including the 14-year-old daughter of the church pastor. 

Until now, New Zealand had not had a mass shooting since June 1994, when David Bain, 22, killed his father Robin,  mother Margaret, his sisters Arawa and Laniet , and his brother Stephen.

New Zealand tightened gun laws after the Aramoana massacre of November 1990, which saw 13 people shot dead in a small township near Dunedin, following a neighbourhood dispute.

In 1992, new laws were passed in New Zealand requiring a special permit and background checks to possess a semi-automatic military-style weapon.

New Zealand tightened gun laws after the Aramoana massacre (pictured) of November 1990, which saw 13 people shot dead in a small township near Dunedin, following a neighbourhood dispute

New Zealand tightened gun laws after the Aramoana massacre (pictured) of November 1990, which saw 13 people shot dead in a small township near Dunedin, following a neighbourhood dispute

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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