Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Bangladesh cricket team escape Christchurch mosque shooting

Bangladesh cricket team escape Christchurch mosque shooting

A gunman opened fire in a mosque in New Zealand on Friday and there were several casualties, media reported, after police deployed armed officers in response to shots fired in the centre of Christchurch city.

Police have confirmed they are responding to a "critical incident".

All Christchurch schools and council buildings have been placed into lockdown.

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

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

"They were just outside the mosque about to get off from the bus and go into the mosque when they heard shooting and a lot of people running out and they saw someone wounded in front of them".

Amid the chaos, the players reportedly told locals walking towards the mosque to turn around and avoid the scene.

Radio NZ reported that hundreds of people were praying at the mosque when the shooting took place. They lost their one-day worldwide series 3-0 and have also lost the three-Test series after New Zealand claimed victory in the opening two matches. They ran back through Hagley Park back to the Oval.

Bangladesh are due to play New Zealand at Hagley Oval on Saturday.

A witness who has inside the mosque told ABC News that it was very "peaceful, calm and quiet" when the shooting started.

There are unconfirmed reports that there has been a second shooting at a mosque in Linwood.

"I heard a big sound of the gun".

Witness Len Peneha said he saw a man dressed in black enter the Masjid Al Noor mosque and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror. "I ran behind the mosque", he said.

The Bangladesh cricket team was in the vicinity of the shooting but all members were safe, a team coach told media.

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