New Zealand police hunt 'active shooter' after gunman opens fire at mosque

'Shots fired' near mosque in New Zealand

'Shots fired' near mosque in New Zealand

The Bangladesh cricket team has been forced to flee a Christchurch mosque after a shooting incident on Friday afternoon.

New Zealand police are treating it as an active shooter situation.

Christchurch City council said in a statement: "In response to a serious ongoing incident we're locking down number of central city buildings, including the Civic Offices and Central Library".

Len Peneha, a witness to the incident, said he saw a man who was dressed in black walk into the Masjid Al Noor mosque.

There are reports that a second mosque has been evacuated.

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

Gunfire was heard coming from the direction of the mosque and several people were seen on the ground outside the building, One News reported.

Tamim Iqbal Khan, a member of the team, tweeted that the "entire team got saved from active shooters".

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Christchurch schools will be locked down until further notice.Police thanks the public for their cooperation and will provide further updates to keep residents informed.

All schools and hospitals in Christchurch have been placed in lockdown.

Earlier, he helped three people who had been shot at the mosque.

Earlier, Mohammad Isam - a reporter associated with ESPN Cricinfo - had written on Twitter that the "Bangladesh team [he is assigned to] escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters".

"He had a big gun and a lot of bullets and he came through and started shooting like everyone in the mosque, like everywhere, and they have to smash the door and the glass from the window and from the small door to try and get out".

People in central Christchurch have been urged to stay indoors and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to authorities.

Mohan Ibn Ibrahim told CNN he was inside the mosque when the shooting began and that he heard the gunman "continuously shooting for ten to 15 minutes". Another man said he saw children being shot.

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