World

Shooting at New Zealand mosque, casualties feared

Willington: Armed police in New Zealand swarmed central Christchurch on Friday amid a shooting at a mosque in the South Island city.

“A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter,” police said in a statement.

“Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high.”

Local media said there were multiple casualties at one mosque and said another had been evacuated, and there were reports that members of the Bangladesh cricket team were also present at one site.

“Entire team got saved from active shooters!!!” tweeted Bangladesh player Tamim Iqbal. “Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers.”

Police commissioner Mike Bush said all schools in the city had been placed in lockdown in response to “a serious ongoing firearms incident”.

“Police urge anyone in central Christchurch to stay off the streets and report any suspicious behaviour,” he said in a statement.

An eyewitness told Radio New Zealand he heard shots fired and four people were lying on the ground, with “blood everywhere”.

There was no official information on casualties but the New Zealand Herald said at least one person was killed. (AFP)

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