UPDATE: Canadian police step up security at places of worship, after 49 killed in NZ mosque attacks

As condolences pour in for the 49 people killed and 48 injured in a mass shooting during Friday prayers at two mosques in ChristChurch, New Zealand, many mosques are considering extra security in light of the latest hate crime.

Police in many cities across Canada are stepping up patrols around places of worship, and speaking with local Muslim communities about their security concerns.  

In Halifax, Imam Abdallah Yousri of the Umma Mosque said he is looking at improving security.

Gunman livestreamed violence

New Zealand police have asked social media users not to share the shocking video the shooter livestreamed during the terror attack. Facebook says it has taken down a 17-minute video, YouTube and Twitter also removed it from their sites.

The gunman involved in at least one of the shootings left a 74-page manifesto, identifying himself as a 28-year-old Australian and white nationalist, who was avenging attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.

One man was arrested and charged with murder in what appeared to be a carefully planned racist attack. Police also found two improvised explosive devices inside a car

New Zealand National Police Commissioner Mike Bush says the suspects were not known to law enforcement before the attack.

There are unconfirmed reports that the shooter was influenced by Alexandre Bissonnette, the Laval University student convicted of killing six people at a mosque in Quebec City in January 2017. A now-deleted Twitter account that is believed to be linked to the accused shooter shows what appears to be three assault-rifle magazines, one of which has Bissonnette's name on it. The head of the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre says there is a feeling of "indescribable pain" in his community.

Lawyers for released a statement today on behalf of Alexandre Bissonnette, stating the convicted killer is "not looking for his acts to be imitated or to serve as a model for others".

Queen Elizabeth, Pope Francis and a long list of world leaders are sending condolences to the people of New Zealand.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemns the act -- saying attacking people during prayers is "absolutely appalling."

Trudeau says Canada condemns the attacks, and will continue to work with its close partner and friend to take action against violent extremism.

The Canadian flag will be flown at half-mast from sunrise to sunset today at Victoria City Hall.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps issued this statement: “I condemn the violence perpetrated in two Christchurch mosques and request that the community take a moment of silence today to mourn with the victims and their families. The City of Victoria stands in solidarity with our Muslim community against racism, Islamophobia and discrimination, and for diversity, inclusion and love.”

CFAX-1070 has reached out to Masjid Al-Iman, the local mosque located on Quadra Street. 

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called "one of New Zealand's darkest days."

Prime minister Ardern has raised the national threat level from low to high.

The attack shocked people across the nation of 5-million, a country that has relatively lax gun laws.

    

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