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'Please run out of bullets': Witness describes '20-minute' shootout in Christchurch mosque

Newshub logoNewshub 15/03/2019 Matt Burrows, Thomas Mead
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Watch: Witnesses describe '20-minute' attack (Newshub)

Warning: Some readers may find the following report distressing.

A witness to one of the Christchurch mosque shootings has spoken of the horror of what he says was 20 minutes of violence.

Ramzan Ali is an attendee of Masjid Al Noor mosque next to Hagley Park, and said the shooting started during a sermon for Friday prayers.

"The guns started... He just came in and was shooting. I actually didn't see him, I was just lying down on the bench thinking 'if I get up I'll get shot'," he recounted.

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More on this story:

LIVE: Dozens dead in New Zealand attacks (ABC)

NZ PM says attacks 'unprecedented' (ABC News)

Shooting suspect published online manifesto before attack (Mirror)

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New Zealand special forces arriving outside the mosque following a shooting in Christchurch. © Getty New Zealand special forces arriving outside the mosque following a shooting in Christchurch.

"The blood was splashing on me and I thought, 'oh my God, what's going to happen to me now?' Fortunately I'm alive."

Mr Ali says he's sure the attack was premeditated, adding that he "[doesn't] expect these kind of things in New Zealand".

"There's no way to explain it. It took me about half an hour before my shaking stopped... It went for about 20 minutes," he said.

An ambulance carries wounded people to the hospital after gunmen attacked the two mosques. © Getty An ambulance carries wounded people to the hospital after gunmen attacked the two mosques.

"When you get out, you don't look at what's happening - you just want to get out.

"I was thinking that he must run out of bullets, so what I was doing was basically waiting and praying to God, saying 'Please run out of bullets'.

"One guy was sitting there and told me [not to get up] - the next thing I know, the gunman shoots this guy... I know that guy, and he shot him straight in the chest."

Mr Ali says the gunman deserves the strongest possible punishment.

"There's no [understanding of the] importance of life for people. I think whoever this guy is, he should be punished like they do in the Middle East."

In Photos: Christchurch mosque shooting

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