50 martyred as gunman opens fire at mosque in NZ
WELLINGTON (Reuters) – In New Zealand, at least 50 people were martyred and more than dozens injured when a gunman opened fire in a mosque in Christ Church city on Friday morning as Bangladesh cricket team safe in vicinity of shooting.
New Zealand police were hunting an active shooter in the center of Christchurch city after a gunman opened fire at a mosque inflicting several casualties.
A witness told media that a man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit, and carrying an automatic rifle had started randomly shooting people in the mosque.
“A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter,” New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said. “Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high.”
Bangladesh cricket team safe in vicinity of shooting
The Bangladesh cricket team was going to Friday prayers at the mosque, the Masjid Al Noor, when the shooting occurred but all members were safe, a team coach told Reuters.
After the firing incident, Bangladeshi cricketer Mushfiqur Rahim took his twitter and said, “Alhamdulillah Allah save us today while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque…we r extremely lucky…never want to see this things happen again….pray for us.”
Alhamdulillah Allah save us today while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque…we r extremely lucky…never want to see this things happen again….pray for us
— Mushfiqur Rahim (@mushfiqur15) March 15, 2019
Media reported that a gunman opened fire inside mosque in Christchurch’s Hagley Park district. There were reports of armed police at a second mosque in the suburb of Linwood.
People in center of the city should stay indoors, police said. All Christchurch schools and council buildings have been placed into lockdown.
Police did not immediately comment on whether the incident took place in the mosque or nearby. There is no official confirmation on casualties. Media said shots had been fired near a mosque and a witness told broadcaster One News that he had seen three people lying on the ground, bleeding outside the building.
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”.
“Horrified to hear of Christchurch mosque shootings. There is never a justification for that sort of hatred,” said Amy Adams, a member of parliament from Christchurch.
The Bangladesh cricket team is in Christchurch to play New Zealand in a third cricket test starting on Saturday.
“They were on the bus, which was just pulling up to the mosque when the shooting begun,” Mario Villavarayen, strength and conditioning coach of the Bangladesh cricket team, told Reuters in a message.
Teenagers killed in Sao Paolo school shooting. “They are shaken but good.” Muslims account for just over 1 per cent of New Zealand’s population, a 2013 census showed.
New Zealand Federation of Islamic Association said that as many as 50 people were targeted in the shooting incident.