Bangladesh cricket team escape shooting at Christchurch mosque

Four held for New Zealand mosques shootings Edited By Odishatv Bureau | By IANS Last updated Mar 15 2019- 10:54:16 Pic Credit AP

The Bangladesh cricket team are wanting to leave New Zealand "as soon as possible", after narrowly avoiding a shooting at a mosque in central Christchurch this afternoon.

Mario Villavarayen, a strength and conditioning coach with the Bangladesh team, told New Zealand media the players did not see the shooter but heard shots.

In breaking news, police are now responding to a critical incident in Christchurch, New Zealand, after shots were fired inside a mosque.

The team is reported to have left the bus and fled on foot to almost Hagley Oval where it is due to play New Zealand in a test match starting on Saturday.

When the bus carrying some players and coaching staff arrived at the mosque, they heard but did not see the shootings.

"By the time I got close to the park, the players had disembarked from the bus, they were running towards me and just telling me to get out of there".

It is unclear how many people may have been injured, but one witness told the AP news agency that he heard dozens of gunshots.

Bangladesh's cricket team escaped unscathed after terror attacks at two mosques in New Zealand killed 49 people, an official told AFP news agency on Friday.

Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal tweeted: 'Entire team got saved from active shooters.

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Performance analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekeran, also on Twitter, posted: "Just escaped active shooters".

New Zealand media say a shooting has occurred in a second mosque in the city of Christchurch.

Sources quoted by media said nine people were confirmed dead and as many as 30 were feared dead at the Masjid Al Noor on Deans Ave and at the Linwood Masjid on Linwood Ave.

Ardern described the event as "extreme and unprecedented violence". "For now my thoughts and I'm sure the thoughts of all New Zealanders are with those who have been affected their families".

Mohammad Isam, a Bangladeshi journalist for Cricinfo who was on the scene, said that all the players are safe, but want to fly back to Bangladesh.

Four suspects have been arrested in connection with the attacks, according to New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush.

Gunmen have opened fire on two Christchurch mosques.

"They ran back through Hagley Park back to the Oval", he tweeted.

New Zealand Cricket said they had chosen to cancel the test, which was the final match of the tour, after discussions with the Bangladesh board. "That is why we feel that the security that countries like Bangladesh gives to other teams when they come to play in Bangladesh, we should also get the similar type of security arrangement or support from the host country". They initially stayed on the bus and made phone calls, including one to this reporter, who was at the ground.

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