Multiple casualties are feared in a "critical incident" early Friday as gunshots were heard near a mosque in New Zealand's east-coast city, global media reported, with the Bangladeshi cricket team narrowly escaping danger.
"I don't they're in a mental state to play cricket at all. We have asked the team to stay confined in the hotel", he told AFP.
"I've lived next door to this mosque for about five years and the people are great, they're very friendly", he said.
Much of the coaching staff were back in the team hotel while the head coach Steve Rhodes was at the ground.
"They were just outside the mosque about to get off from the bus and go into the mosque when they heard shooting and a lot of people running out and they saw someone wounded in front of them".
"I don't know how many (gunshots) there were".
The gun attack happened at 1.40pm local time (0.40am GMT) during afternoon prayers.
Player Tamim Iqbal tweeted that it was a "frightening experience" and that there were "active shooters".
Among those inside the mosque in downtown Christchurch were members of Bangladesh's national cricket team, according to a Bangladeshi journalist, Mohammad Isam. "Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers", he wrote.
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The Associated Press reported "multiple fatalities", and media in New Zealand also reported a shooting at a second mosque in a central Chrischurch suburb.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the incident as an "unprecedented act of violence".
The NZ Herald reported that shots were fired at a mosque close to Hagley Park in the city's central area.
Several hundred people were inside and witnesses reported seeing at least four people on the ground and "blood everywhere", according to Radio New Zealand.
The New Zealand Police subsequently issued another update saying that they were dealing with a "serious and evolving situation" that was occurring in Christchurch.
Police placed all of the city's schools on lockdown amid the incident. calling a "serious ongoing firearms incident".
A reporter at the scene said people at the cordon were hugging as they passed through the tape.
The South Island city was placed in lockdown as police hunted for an "active shooter".
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