The gunman who shot dead 51 people praying at two mosques in Christchurch in March last year has changed his plea to guilty [File: Recep Sakar/Anadolu]

The Australian man accused of killing 51 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in New Zealand in March last year entered a surprise guilty plea to all 51 charges of murder at a special session of a Christchurch court on Thursday.

Brenton Tarrant, who appeared by video link, also pleaded guilty to 40 charges of attempted murder and a terrorism charge, public broadcaster TVNZ said.

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The 29-year-old had previously pleaded not guilty and was due to face trial in June.

New Zealand’s worst-ever mass shootingtook place on March 15 last year when the lone attacker targeted Muslims attending Friday

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