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New Zealand armed police respond to ongoing firearms incident in mosque

15 March, 2019, 08:30 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT** Man who identified himself as Brenton Tarrant 28 of Australia filmed self just before live streaming mass shooting at mosque in Christchurch New Zealand

Mohan Ibrahim is one of around 400 people who were inside Christchurch's Masjid Al Noor mosque near Hagley Park praying when the shooting began.

The country's Prime Minister also released a statement, stating the day was "one of the darkest days in New Zealand's history". Numerous people affected may be migrants of New Zealand or refugees and they have chosen to make New Zealand their home.

Multiple casualties are feared in a "critical incident" early Friday as gunshots were heard near a mosque in New Zealand's east-coast city, worldwide media reported, with the Bangladeshi cricket team narrowly escaping danger.

"They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not", she said.

Speaking moments ago, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush confirmed one person had been arrested.

Ms Ardern said police had advised there may be other offenders excluding the shooter in custody.

Mass shootings a relatively unheard of in New Zealand, in September 2014 Russell John Tully donned a balaclava and carried a shotgun as he stormed into the Ashburton WINZ office, not far from Christchurch, and killed two women, attempted to kill another and maim one more.

EARLIER: New Zealand police have confirmed multiple fatalities have occurred at two separate mosques in Christchurch following a prolonged shooting incident this afternoon.

Police officials did not immediately comment on whether the incident took place in the mosques or nearby. It remains unclear if more people were involved.

The livestream began as the shooter, a 28-year old Australian-born man who identified himself as Brenton Tarrant drove to the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch and parked his vehicle, the report says.

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Guardian reporter Eleanor Ainge Roy stated that police are also working to investigate believed explosive devices contained within a Subaru near the mosque. More information will be added as soon as it becomes available.

There are reports of a shooting in Christchurch. The third cricket test was cancelled, New Zealand Cricket said later.

All Christchurch schools were in lockdown because of "a serious ongoing firearms incident" near a mosque. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of New Zealand.

"The second shot, I run, lots of people were sitting on the floor", he said.

The New Zealand Herald reported that the gunman who livestreamed the attack and is behind the manifesto is an Australian citizen.

A neighbor described mass casualties inside the mosque and said he saw the gunman flee.

A witness at one of the mosques said the gunman was "continuously shooting for ten to 15 minutes".

Local media reported up to six people were dead, and the South Island city was placed in lockdown as police hunted for an "active shooter".

Radio New Zealand quoted a witness inside the mosque saying he heard shots fired and at least four people were lying on the ground and "there was blood everywhere". Police have asked the public to stay indoors and report any suspicious behaviour to authorities.

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