Police are responding to an active shooter on the premises and have warned of a “critical incident” in the area. The number of casualties is unknown. Canterbury police said on Twitter: “We have a critical incident in Deans Ave Christchurch. Please avoid the area. We will give more in the near future.” National police added: “Armed police have been deployed. Police urge anyone in central Christchurch to stay indoors and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111.
The shooting happened at 1.40pm local time (0.40am GMT) during afternoon prayers.
Up to 300 people were inside the mosque when the shooting began according to reports.
Some members of the Bangladesh cricket team were filmed fleeing the scene.
A witness told Stuff NZ he had seen four people lying on the ground and “blood everywhere”.
A business owner told news.com.au: “I heard 20 or more gunshots I thought something happened and the people were running on the other side of Deans Avenue and now I can see so many police.”
More to follow…