Brenton Tarrant, the man accused of killing 49 Muslim worshippers in Christchurch mosque attacks in New Zealand has been charged with “terrorism”, police said in a statement on Tuesday.

Tarrant now faces 51 charges of murder and 40 of attempted murder over the March 15 attacks in the South Island city.

“A charge of engaging in a Terrorist Act under section 6A of the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 has now been filed against Brenton Tarrant,” police said in a statement.

At least 49 people were killed and several others injured after a gunman opened fire on worshipers at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

The assailant who resided in Dunedin, about 400 km south of Christchurch, used semi-automatic weapons to attack hundreds of people who had flocked to the Al Noor and Linwood mosques for their usual Friday prayers.

The terrorist filmed his actions for 17 minutes and published a long manifesto of more than 70 pages, justifying his extreme right-wing ideology and hatred of Muslims, which together with the video were published on social networks.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had termed the shootings as “an unprecedented act of violence”