Christchurch mosque toll rises to 51 after man dies

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 03 2019 05:10 AM

Christchurch mosque toll rises to 51 after man dies 1
Armed police officers stand guard outside Al Noor mosque where more than 40 people were killed by a suspected white supremacist during Friday prayers on March 15 in Christchurch, New Zealand taken on April 1, 2019. Edgar Su, Reuters

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - The death toll from the Christchurch mosque attacks has risen to 51 after a 46-year-old Turkish man succumbed to injuries sustained in the March 15 shootings, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Friday.

"This sad news will be felt across Turkey, as well as New Zealand," Ardern said.

"This man has been in intensive care since the attack. We have all been hoping for the best. However, he has now succumbed to the injuries sustained in the shooting at the Al Noor mosque."

Police said the man died late Thursday and his family had requested his name not be publicly released.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, a self-avowed white supremacist, is accused of the attacks on 2 mosques where worshipers were gathered for Friday prayers.

He is now in a maximum security prison undergoing psychiatric tests to determine if he is mentally fit to stand trial for 50 counts of murder and 39 of attempted murder. 

Police said the latest fatality was a man shot at the central city Al Noor mosque, where more than 40 of the victims were killed before the gunman moved his rampage to another mosque at suburban Linwood.

Ardern said 9 people remained in hospital and all were in stable condition.

"As a country we continue to send our hope for their speedy recovery," she said.

After the attack, Ardern described the worst mass shooting in modern New Zealand history as one of the country's darkest days.

Her government has since moved to tighten gun laws and is reviewing regulations dealing with hate speech, as well as spearheading an international push to force social media giants to do more to combat online extremism.