Mass shootings at Christchurch mosques

'Shots fired' near mosque in New Zealand

Armed police have been deployed after shots were fired at a mosque where hundreds of people were praying near Hagley Park in Christchurch.

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.

Meanwhile, the strength and conditioning coach Mario Villavarayen said: "The players are shaken up but fine".

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said "a serious and evolving situation was occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter".

"Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high", they tweeted.

One man said the scene at the mosque was chaotic with as many as 40 people injured. Police has urged people nearby to stay indoors.

A witness told Stuff NZ he had seen four people lying on the ground and "blood everywhere".

Several minutes after they were barred from getting off the bus, the players escaped and ran through Hagley Park.

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Much of Christchurch is in lockdown.

Robert Weatherhead told the news website he had taken in about 13 men and a boy aged about three after they escaped from Al Noor Mosque.

Bangladesh have been touring New Zealand since last month. One person is in custody, however Police believe there may be other offenders. A witness says many people have been killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

"I've lived next door to this mosque for about five years and the people are great, they're very friendly", he said.

A Black Caps spokesman told the Herald nine of the team members live in Christchurch and are now at home with their families.

Sabir Hussain, who was inside Linwood Mosque, said he was "doing a prayer when our Imam (the leader of a mosque) said our brothers have been shot". He described the experience as "frightening".

Player Tamim Iqbal tweeted that it was a "frightening experience" and that there were "active shooters".

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