The players of Bangladesh National (male) Cricket Team have narrowly escaped a gun attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.
According to the sports reporters of a number of Bangladeshi news outlets, most of the players were about to enter inside the mosque for offering their Juma prayer when the shooting incident occurred that reportedly killed at least six people.
Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesperson Jalal Yunus said: “They [players] are safe but are shocked. We have asked them to stay inside the hotel until further notice.”
Witnesses told local media there were several casualties. Police warned people to avoid the area and all schools and a hospital are in lockdown.
Eyewitnesses have reported running for their lives to escape a shooter.
Unverified footage purportedly taken by the shooter has emerged, suggesting he filmed as he shot victims.
Mohan Ibrahim, who was in the area of the mosque, told the New Zealand Herald: “At first we thought it was an electric shock but then all these people started running.
The Herald reports that the gunman is believed to be an Australian who has written a manifesto outlining his intentions.
In it, he espouses far-right ideology and anti-immigrant ideology.
The sequence of events remain unclear and mostly come via eyewitness reports to local media.
Witnesses at the Al Noor mosque, located in central Christchurch along Dean Avenue, facing Hagley Park, reported seeing people bleeding on the ground outside the building, but this has not been confirmed by police or officials.
There are reports that a second mosque in the suburb of Linwood has also been evacuated.
“I still have friends inside.
“I have been calling my friends but there are many I haven’t heard from. I am scared for my friends lives.”