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Monday April 22nd, 2019 4:21AM

The Latest: All 50 victims of mosque attacks now identified

By The Associated Press
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CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — The Latest on the mosque attacks in New Zealand (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush says all 50 victims of the attack on two Christchurch mosques have been identified and their next of kin have been advised.

Bush told a news conference Thursday that the forensic experts, coroners and pathologists involved had worked "as best as humanly possible" to complete the identification process "out of respect for the families of those victims."

Expanding on the newly announced ban of military-style assault rifles, Bush said owners of such weapons could register them online or by phone or arrange to take them to police stations.

He said anyone found to still have a banned weapon after an initial amnesty period could be prosecuted.

Bush said there were around 250,000 registered firearms holders in New Zealand.

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4:10 p.m.

The New Zealand government is asking all owners of assault weapons or now-banned attachments to report them to the government in the next two days before turning them in.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday announced that the government was immediately banning sales of what New Zealand calls military style semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines like the weapons used in last Friday's attacks on two Christchurch mosques.

She says the cabinet is also working on a gun buyback program to be announced later. Ardern says there will be "tightly regulated" exemptions for some owners such as hunters and farmers.

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3 p.m.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand is immediately banning sales of military style semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines 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."

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11:30 a.m.

An imam says he's expecting thousands of people at an emotional Friday prayer service a week after an attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Six more funerals were being held 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.

He says mosque workers have been feverishly working to repair the destruction from the attack. They will bury the blood-soaked carpet.

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