CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand: New Zealand police on Thursday (Mar 21) said that all 50 victims of last week's terror attack in Christchurch have now been identified, allowing burials to take place.
"I can say that as of a few minutes ago the identification process and to all 50 victims has been completed and all of the next of kin have been advised," said commissioner Mike Bush. "That is a landmark for this process."
Fifty people died last Friday in the shootings at two mosques, in what has been described as New Zealand's worst mass shooting.
Both mosques which were attacked, the Al Noor and nearby Linwood mosque, plan to reopen. Thousands of worshippers are expected at the Al Noor mosque, where majority of the victims died.
Most victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
On Thursday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a ban on military style semi-automatics and assault rifles under stricter new gun laws.
Ardern said she expects the new law to be in place by Apr 11 and a buy-back scheme will be established for banned weapons.
A 28-year-old Australian who was living in Dunedin in New Zealand has been charged with murder after the attack. Brenton Tarrant was remanded without plea and is due back in court on Apr 5, and is likely to face more charges.