Gunman opens fire at NZ mosque in Christchurch, several casualties

Gunman opens fire at NZ mosque in Christchurch, several casualties

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern held a press conference into the shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, describing it as "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

Police said the second mosque attacked was in the suburb of Linwood.

Ramzan Ali, who was inside the Al Noor mosque during the shooting, said he was the last man to come out of the mosque.

The gunman, who was wearing a "helmet, glasses and military-style jacket", is believed to have live streamed the attack to social media.

Apart from numerous witness reports of casualties, a reporter following the Bangladesh cricket team, who are now in New Zealand, tweeted that the team had "escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters". I spoke to one of them shortly after (the incident), the team's strength and conditioning coach Mario Villavarayen said.

"A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter", Police Commissioner Mike Bush said.

Armed police can be seen on central Christchurch streets.

The Guardian reports a bomb has been found in a auto on Strickland Street in Christchurch, around 3km from the mosque where the shooting took place.

"We have taken down the account of the alleged perpetrator and are working to actively remove all versions of the video from Twitter", a Twitter spokesman said, according to BuzzFeed reporter Ryan Mac.

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Daily Mail Australia understands Tarrant grew up in Grafton, New South Wales, where much of his family still lives. About 300 people were inside the mosque for afternoon prayers.

Bush said in a statement that "all Christchurch schools have been placed into lockdown".

"They were devastated and terrified and I saw [people] who were from the mosque covered in blood sitting in ambulances", Ms Jamieson said.

"Some had been shot and then about five minutes after that the police turned up". One suspect in the slayings is reported by police to be in custody, but law enforcement has said they are still looking for other assailants and are treated it as an active shooter situation. "They have no place in New Zealand".

He said Bangladesh cricket board is in contact with New Zealand cricket authorities and would take a further decision after consultation.

"I saw people jumping over the back fence of the mosque into Oakward Close".

He says he also saw the gunman flee before emergency services arrived. The third cricket test was cancelled, New Zealand Cricket said later.

People stand across the road from a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday.

EARLIER: POLICE are responding to a critical incident in Christchurch, New Zealand after dozens of shots were heard being fired inside a mosque.

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