Wellington, Mar 15: As many as six people were dead when unidentified gunmen opened fire inside a mosque in Christchurch's Hagley Park in New Zealand on Friday, local media reported.
At least two gunmen opened fire, a witness said. According to another witness, Idris Khairuddin,"At first I thought it was just like construction work or something, then people were all running and screaming," as reported by the New Zealand Herald.
The Al Noor mosque is located in central Christchurch along Dean Avenue, facing Hagley Park. Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) has activated its mass casualty plan,a Spokesperson said.
The plan includes clearing emergency room space for casualties. Police have cleared Cathedral Square, where thousands of children were holding a rally for action on climate change.
"A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter', Police Commissioner Mike Bush said. "Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high', he further said.
Police have urged anyone in central Christchurch to stay indoors until further notice. Christchurch schools will be locked down until further notice.
There were about 200 people in Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Ave when shots were heard.UNI