Christchurch attacker charged with terrorism

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In New Zealand, the man accused of shooting dead 51 worshippers in the Christchurch mosque attacks, has been formally charged with terrorism for the first time.

In a statement, police today said, in addition to the terror charge, Brenton Tarrant also faces 51 charges of murder and 40 of attempted murder over the March 15th attacks that rocked the South Pacific nation. The statement said, the charge will allege that a terrorist act was carried out in Christchurch.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has characterised the killings as a well-planned terror attack. But until now the charges against him were less expansive, as New Zealand's Terrorism Suppression Act was only introduced in 2002 and is untested in the courts.

The police said, the decision to lay the terror charge more than two months after the attack was made following consultations with prosecutors and government legal experts. (AIR NEWS)