Gunman opens fire at Christchurch mosque

Gunman opens fire at Christchurch mosque

Multiple fatalities were inflicted at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday when at least one gunman opened fire on worshippers, police said.

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

Apart from numerous witness reports of casualties, a reporter following the Bangladesh cricket team, who are now in New Zealand, tweeted that the team had "escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters".

New Zealand media reported that between nine and 27 people were killed, but the death toll could not be confirmed.

"I want to assure everyone we have deployed every police resource in the Canterbury region", a spokesperson for the New Zealand Police said.

Police said earlier they were hunting "an active shooter" in the centre of Christchurch city.

"The gun was (at the) front door, I run behind the mosque and I was sitting behind... and I called the police and the police take a long time". All Christchurch schools and council buildings have been placed into lockdown.

This post will be updated with more information as it becomes available. "Some are still inside and we have been calling but can't get hold of them", Ibrahim said.

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Once he was satisfied everyone was dead, he ran outside and shot another person he saw on the mosque's front lawn.

Speaking to media after police had confirmed that one man was in custody following mass shootings at two mosques in the South Island city, Ardern said those responsible "have no place in New Zealand".

The Guardian reports a bomb has been found in a vehicle on Strickland Street in Christchurch, around 3km from the mosque where the shooting took place.

Returning to the mosque he walked over to a pile of dead or wounded men in the room and began shooting them in the head to ensure they were dead.

- 7 News Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) March 15, 2019Police are now responding to reports of shots fired in central Christchurch at around 1:40pm.Armed police have been deployed.Police urge anyone in central Christchurch to stay indoors and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111.

Mr Nazir said he climbed the wall outside the mosque and remained on the phone to police until officers arrived. He was driving by the mosque about 1.40pm and saw a whole lot of people running.

Ardern said the attacker has "no place in New Zealand".

This story is developing.

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