PM: New Zealand banning all assault weapons in wake of mosque massacres


CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP)

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand is immediately banning assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and “military style semi-automatic rifles” like the weapons used in last Friday’s attacks on two Christchurch mosques.

Ardern announced the ban Thursday and said it would be followed by legislation to be introduced next month.

She said the man arrested in the attacks had purchased his weapons legally and enhanced their capacity by using 30-round magazines “done easily through a simple online purchase.”

This morning, an imam said he’s expecting thousands of people at an emotional Friday prayer service a week after an attack on two mosques in Christchurch.

Six more funerals were being taking place Thursday for the 50 people killed last Friday.

Iman Gamal Fouda says he’s been discussing plans for the prayer service with city officials and lawmakers and expects it will take place in a park across from Al Noor mosque, where at least 42 were killed.

Fouda expects 3,000 to 4,000 people, including many from abroad. He said members of the Linwood mosque, where the gunman killed seven people, also would attend the joint prayer.

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