Christchurch terror attack: Further charges laid against alleged gunman

Christchurch terror attack: Further charges laid against alleged gunman
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The gunman allegedly behind the Christchurch mosque attacks has now been charged with engaging in a terrorist act.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said police have met with the victims' families to inform them of the new charges. An additional murder charge and two more attempted murder charges have also been filed.

Fifty-one people were killed in the attacks on March 15, which targeted two mosques in Christchurch.

Bush said the charge of engaging in a terrorist act, under section 6A of the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, will allege a terrorist act was carried out in Christchurch on March 15. Police, crown law and the Christchurch Crown Solicitor's office consulted on the decision.

The new charges mean the alleged gunman faces a total of 51 murder charges, 40 of attempted murder and one charge under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

It's the first time someone has been charged with a terrorist act in New Zealand.

"Just over 200 people attended the meeting this afternoon in Christchurch," Bush said on Tuesday.

"Police are committed to providing all the support necessary for what will be a challenging and emotional process to come for the victim's families and the survivors of the attack."

The alleged gunman has been remanded in custody and will next appear in the Christchurch High Court on June 14.