New Zealand to probe role of spies, guns in mosque attacks

People visit a memorial site for victims of Friday's shooting in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch

REUTERS Jorge Silva Christchurch to Hold Remembrance Service for Mosques Shooting Victims on 29 March- Ardern

"Thank you @jacindaardern and New Zealand for your honest empathy and support that has won the respect of 1.5 billion Muslims after the terrorist attack that shook the Muslim community around the world", he said on Twitter.

An image of New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern hugging a woman in the wake of the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch was projected onto the world's tallest building, Dubai's Burj Khalifa, on Friday evening.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reacts during a briefing in Wellington, capital of New Zealand, on March 16, 2019.

"A Royal Commission is the only suitable level of inquiry to ensure this is investigated thoroughly and independently", Mr Bridges said.

Ardern said she also had questions.

"In short, the inquiry will look at what could have or should have been done to prevent the attack", Ardern said.

She said she did not want to spend too long away from New Zealand as it continues to mourn the March 15 shootings at two Christchurch mosques that claimed 50 lives.

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The body of a 26-year-old Pakistani who was among 50 worshippers killed during attacks on mosques in New Zealand has arrived at an airport in the southern port city of Karachi.

Ms Ardern said it would produce a "comprehensive" report.

Al Noor mosque imam Gamal Fouda thanked Ms Ardern for "honouring us with a simple scarf", and told the families of the Christchurch victims that "Their blood will water the seeds of hope and people will see the beauty of Islam".

She is to travel to Beijing on Sunday then hold a full day of meetings Monday with the leaders of New Zealand's largest trading partner, including President Xi Jinping, before returning home the next day.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who swiftly denounced the shooting as terrorism and has participated in numerous tributes and funerals for the victims, has announced a ban on military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles, some of the guns used by the shooter.

A suspected white supremacist has been charged with one count of murder over the Christchurch shootings and will next appear in court on April 5.

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