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Post mortems completed on all 50 Christchurch mosque attack victims but still only six released to families

Six bodies have now been released back to Christchurch terror attack victims' families and the two mosques at the centre of the attack are set to reopen this week.

Post mortem examinations have been completed on all 50 victims, police said tonight.

Twelve victims have been identified to the satisfaction of the coroner and six of those identified victims have been returned to their families, police said in a statement.

"We are working with families regarding the return of the other six identified victims," police said.

Earlier, Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha told TVNZ1's Te Karere police had met with the Muslim community this afternoon and after formal identification had released four of the deceased back to their loved ones "who are now at the funeral home going through washing and shrouding before burial".

"There have been several discussions around what will happen next and there may be individual burials, or a mass burial has been another discussion," he said.

Commissioner Haumaha said police are conscious of trying to complete post-mortems and identification as quickly as possible.

"Tensions are high and emotions are running high, so want to give the families regular updates.

"Early release of loved ones back into family care is a focus, so they have time to grieve before the bodies are interred."

The Deputy Police Commissioner also said police are hoping to have Linwood Mosque open by Wednesday and the Deans Ave mosque open for prayer by Friday afternoon.

The two mosques would be fully cleaned and repaired before this so as not to traumatise the congregations further, he said.

Police were still working to try and get all the bodies released to families by tomorrow, but if this was not possible then shortly thereafter.

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    Mr Haumaha says four bodies are now back with families. Source: 1 NEWS