New Zealand mosque attack death toll rises to 50

The Associated PressPublished Saturday, March 16, 2019 4:41PM EDTLast Updated Saturday, March 16, 2019 5:29PM EDT

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — The Latest on shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand (all times local):

10:05 a.m. Sunday

New Zealand police say a 50th victim of the mosque attacks in Christchurch has died.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush announced the latest death in a news conference Sunday. He says 36 victims remain hospitalized, with two of them in critical condition.

Bush also said that two people arrested around the time suspect Brenton Harrison Tarrant was apprehended are not believed to have been involved in the attacks on two mosques Friday.

He says one of those people has been released and the other has been charged with firearms offences.

Tarrant is 28 and was arraigned Saturday on the first of many expected murder charges.

He’s accused of killing 41 people at one mosque and seven more at a second. Two victims died later while hospitalized.

4:20 a.m.

A Jordanian man says his 4-year-old niece is fighting for her life after being wounded in the New Zealand mosque shootings.

Sabri Daraghmeh said by phone from Jordan on Saturday that the girl, Elin, remains « in the danger phase » and that her father, Waseem — Sabri’s brother — is in stable condition.

Daraghmeh says the 33-year-old Waseem moved to New Zealand five years ago and that he described it as the « safest place one could ever live in. »

The Daraghmehs are of Palestinian origin, but have Jordanian citizenship, like several others listed as Jordanian nationals among those killed and wounded in the mosque attacks.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said Saturday that at least four Palestinians were among those killed, but acknowledged they could have been counted by Jordan or other countries.

3:40 a.m.

A few hundred demonstrators have protested the New Zealand mosque shootings outside Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia — a Byzantine-era cathedral that was turned into a mosque and now serves as a museum.

The demonstrators — mostly members of Islamic civil society groups — on Saturday called for the symbolic edifice to be reconverted into a mosque. The demand was in response to a taunt by the gunman in Friday’s shooting rampage in a 74-page manifesto in which he reportedly said « Hagia Sophia will free of minarets. »

The former Byzantine cathedral was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul in 1453. Turkey’s secular founder turned the structure into a museum in 1935 that attracts millions of tourists each year.

There have been, however, increasing calls for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government to convert the structure back into a mosque.

2:25 a.m.

Pakistan’s foreign minister says at least six Pakistanis were killed in the New Zealand mosque shootings.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi says authorities in Christchurch, where the shootings took place, are trying to determine whether three other Pakistanis who have been missing since Friday’s attack were among the fatalities.

He said Saturday that the six confirmed dead include 48-year-old Naeem Rashid and his 21-year-old son, Talha Naeem.

Naeem migrated to New Zealand with his family in 2009 and was a teacher.

At least 49 people were killed in the attacks on two mosques.

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