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Christchurch mosque hero tackled gunman and grabbed weapon after he opened fire

Mirror logo Mirror 15/03/2019 Neil Murphy

Syed Mazharuddin witnessed the event unfolding © Mirror/NZ Herald Syed Mazharuddin witnessed the event unfolding A heroic bystander tackled a gunman and grabbed his weapon after he opened fire at worshippers at a mosque in New Zealand.

Related: 49 dead in New Zealand terror

Syed Mazharuddin witnessed the terrifying moment at Christchurch's Linwood Mosque during a terrorist attack that claimed the lives of seven people.

Mazharuddin said the gunman entered the mosque and began shooting indiscriminately at worshippers, causing them to flee.

"People got feared and there was screaming around and I tried to take cover," he told the New Zealand Herald .

"By the time I took cover this guy came through the main entrance door and it's a small mosque - there were about 60-70 people there.

"Just around the entrance door there were elderly people sitting there praying and he just started shooting at them."

a man looking at the camera: Syed said the young man stole the gunman's weapon © NZ Herald Syed said the young man stole the gunman's weapon A young man who worked at the mosque bravely saw his opportunity and pounced on the shooter, taking his gun in the process.

"The hero tried to chase and he couldn't find the trigger in the gun ... he ran behind him but there were people waiting for him in the car and he fled."

Related: Dramatic moment hero officer arrests suspect

Dramatic moment hero officer arrests suspect © Associated Newspapers Limited Dramatic moment hero officer arrests suspect

The fate of the unnamed hero is unclear but Mazharuddin said two of his friends died in the attack.

Armed officers at the scene © Reuters Armed officers at the scene "I ran out and then the police came and they didn't let me come back in again so I couldn't save my friend, he was bleeding heavily," he said.

"It took almost half an hour, more than half an hour by the time the ambulance could arrive and I think he must have died."

Related: In pictures: New Zealand's 'darkest day' (Photos)

At least 49 people have been killed and 40 seriously injured in co-ordinated terror attacks on Friday afternoon.

Innocent worshippers were shot at point blank range in during the Friday prayers.

a group of people standing in front of a fence: Dozens of people were killed in the terror attack © Getty Images Dozens of people were killed in the terror attack

One of the suspected gunmen -  named as Australian national Brenton Tarrant  - broadcast the horrific scenes live on  Facebook  using a GoPro camera.

Horrified witnesses have described seeing bodies everywhere, with one grieving man reportedly heard wailing: "My wife is dead."

Police had earlier said four people - three men and one woman - had been taken into custody in relation to the devastating shootings.

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