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'Shots fired' near mosque in New Zealand New Zealand mosque shooting: Active shooter reported after Christchurch mosque attack
(32 minutes later)
Gunshots have been heard near a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, local media report, as police warn of a "critical incident". Gunshots have been heard near the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, local media report, as police warn of a "critical incident".
Witnesses told local media that several people appeared to be injured inside the mosque. Police have warned people to avoid the area. Witnesses told local media that several people appeared to be injured inside the building. Police have warned people to avoid the area.
All schools in Christchurch have been placed on lockdown, police commissioner Mike Bush said.All schools in Christchurch have been placed on lockdown, police commissioner Mike Bush said.
Media reports say that armed police are clearing buildings in the vicinity. Eyewitnesses have reported running for their lives to escape a shooter.
The incident is said to have taken place at the Al Noor mosque, located in central Christchurch along Dean Avenue facing Hagley Park. Mohan Ibrahim told the New Zealand Herald: "At first we thought it was an electric shock but then all these people started running.
This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. "I still have friends inside.
You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts. "I have been calling my friends but there are many I haven't heard from. I am scared for my friends lives."
The Al Noor mosque is located in central Christchurch along Dean Avenue, facing Hagley Park.
Witnesses have reported seeing bodies, but this has not been confirmed by police or officials.
There are reports that a second mosque has been evacuated.
Officers have reportedly also cleared Cathedral Square, where thousands of children were holding a rally for action on climate change.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said: "A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter.
"Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high.
"Police recommend that residents across Christchurch remain off the streets and indoors until further notice. 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."
A reporter following the Bangladesh cricket team, who are currently in New Zealand, tweeted that that had "escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters".