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Suspect in New Zealand mosque attacks visited Turkey multiple times: official

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A senior Turkish official has said the suspect arrested in the New Zealand mosque attacks traveled to Turkey multiple times and spent what the official called an “extended period of time” in the country, according to an Associated Press report on Friday.

He said the suspect may have also travelled to countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with Turkish government rules.

The official said an investigation is underway of “the suspect’s movements and contacts within the country.”

He did not say when the suspect traveled to Turkey.

New Zealand police said at least 49 people were killed on Friday at two mosques in the picturesque South Island city of Christchurch. More than 20 were seriously wounded in what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called a “terrorist attack.”

One man was arrested and charged with murder in what appeared to be a carefully planned racist attack. Police also defused explosive devices in a car. Two other people were being held in custody, and police were trying to determine how they might be involved.

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