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New Zealand mosque shooting: Armed police deployed after 'active shooter' opens fire in Christchurch

The Independent logo The Independent 15/03/2019 Jon Sharman
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Armed police have been deployed following a shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, local media reports said.

Police declared a “critical incident” at the Masjid Al Noor mosque and said an “active shooter” was in the area.

Radio New Zealand (RNZ), the public broadcaster, cited a witness as saying he had seen four people on the ground and “blood everywhere”.

A further witness claimed a man opened fire inside the mosque with an automatic weapon.

Others told the New Zealand Herald they had heard more than two dozen gunshots.

Canterbury Police said on Twitter: “We have a critical incident in Deans Ave Christchurch. Please avoid the area. We will give more in the near future.”

Members of the Bangladesh cricket team were reportedly caught up in the incident.

RNZ reported that a second mosque in the suburb of Linwood was also swarmed by armed police.

New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush said in a statement: “Police are responding [at] full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high.

“Police recommend that residents across Christchurch remain off the streets and indoors until further notice. Christchurch schools will be locked down until further notice.”

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