Christchurch, March 15: Two mosques were targetted in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday. According to local media reports, one of the mass shootings was reported near the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch. Christchurch hospital and all of the city's schools have been placed on lockdown. Local media said six people were killed in the incident which was described as 'an unprecedented act of violence' by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. One shooter is in police custody.
"A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter. Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high," police in New Zealand 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". New Zealand Mosque Mass Shooting: Bangladesh Cricket Team Unhurt, Tamim Iqbal Tweets About Safety.
Speaking to Washington Post, Peneha, who has lived next door to the Al Noor mosque for about five years, said the gunman ran out of the mosque, dropped what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon in Peneha’s driveway, and fled. 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. There was no official information on casualties but the New Zealand Herald said at least one person was killed.
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. "They ran back through Hagley Park back to the Oval," he tweeted. (With agency inputs)