New Zealand shootings: Dozens feared dead in mosque attacks

Mass shooting at mosque in Christchurch

New Zealand armed police respond to ongoing firearms incident in mosque

A gunman opened fire on a pair of mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday, with multiple fatalities reported by police in an apparently racially-motivated terrorist act that police say was streamed live on social media.

"Police are now responding to reports of shots fired in central Christchurch at around 1.40pm ... armed police have been deployed", New Zealand Police said in a statement. The police reported they have a suspect in custody. He said he considered it a terrorist attack.

St Johns has confirmed that 20 ambulances have attended the mosque shooting.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, published the 87-page manifesto, "The Great Replacement" the morning before he opened fire inside the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. "They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not".

A worker in the area said at least 30 people have been injured or killed by a gunman.

About 10 to 15 people were seen outside the mosque, "some alive, some dead", said Clarke.

Witnesses say the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch was so quiet "you could hear a pin drop" during Friday prayers - but then the silence was shattered by automatic gunfire as a man burst in and started murdering worshippers.

"The second shot, I run, lots of people were sitting on the floor", he said.

"I could hear screaming and crying, I saw some people drop dead, some people were running away."
"It's unbelievable nutty. I don't understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone".

There are also reports of another shooting at a different mosque in the area.

Mass shooting at mosque in Christchurch

He said he helped about five people recover in his home. She says it is one of NZ's darkest days. As people duck for cover and try to escape, or huddle together for protection, he shoots them repeatedly.

A second shooting has also occurred at another mosque in the suburb of Linwood, while a suspicious device, thought to be a bomb, has reportedly been found in a vehicle on Strickland Avenue. Gunshots went on for a long time.

He saw two injured people carried on stretchers past his shop.

Bangladesh's cricket team, which was at the Christchurch mosque were forced to leave after reports of shots being fired.

Purchase or import of military style semi-automatics and all handguns must be individually approved by, and registered with, the New Zealand police. He said he was not a member of any organization, but had donated to and interacted with many nationalist groups, though he acted alone and no group ordered the attack.

He said the attack happened as some of Bangladesh players disembarked from a team bus and was about to enter the mosque.

"For now my thoughts and I'm sure the thoughts of all New Zealanders are with those who have been affected their families", she said.

"As a community we've never had an issue like this in New Zealand", he told stuff.co.NZ.

In 2010 and 2011 the city suffered a series of devastating earthquakes, with the most destructive at 6.3 magnitude, which killed almost 200 people and destroyed thousands of buildings.

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