Christchurch New Zealand mosque shooting: Multiple casualties feared after gunman opens fire

Frederick Owens
March 15, 2019

Multiple casualties are feared in a "critical incident" early Friday as gunshots were heard near a mosque in New Zealand's east-coast city, global media reported, with the Bangladeshi cricket team narrowly escaping danger. "We have asked the team to stay confined in the hotel", he told AFP.

Meanwhile, the strength and conditioning coach Mario Villavarayen said: "The players are shaken up but fine".

"I spoke to one of them shortly after (the incident)".

Witnesses reported seeing a man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit carrying an automatic rifle entering the Masjid Al Noor Mosque in Hagley Park.

"They didn't come out for the prayers so they are back at the hotel and the entire coaching staff are safe".

He said: "It was very peaceful, calm and quiet, as it is when the sermon starts, you could hear a pin drop". I'm new in Christchurch, I didn't know who to contact.

Bangladesh's performance and strategic analyst Shrinivas tweeted about the escape.

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ESPN Cricinfo reporter Mohammed Isam said members of the Bangladesh cricket team, who are due to play a Test match in Christchurch tomorrow escaped from the mosque.

The Associated Press reported "multiple fatalities", and media in New Zealand also reported a shooting at a second mosque in a central Chrischurch suburb.

In response to "a serious ongoing firearms incident", police said all schools have been placed in lock-down.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the incident as an "unprecedented act of violence". Another man said he saw children being shot.

Armed police have been deployed after receiving reports of shots fired in the city center at 1:40 p.m. Friday local time.

A witness told Stuff NZ he had seen four people lying on the ground and "blood everywhere". There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque, " he said.

Christchurch schools will be locked down until further notice.Police thanks the public for their cooperation and will provide further updates to keep residents informed.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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