‘Dozens injured’ after gunman opens fire in packed mosque

Dozens of people have been injured after a crazed gunman opened fire in a packed mosque – leaving "blood everywhere".

Eyewitnesses reported hearing dozens of gunshots at the holy building in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Local media say multiple people have been wounded and police confirmed they are hunting for an "active shooter".

The gunman was described by Radio New Zealand as wearing a "military-style jacket" and carrying an automatic weapon.

At least 300 people were inside the mosque for afternoon prayers at the time – one witness described seeing "blood everywhere".

ESPN cricket reporter Mohammad Islam said members of the Bangladeshi cricket team were in the building.

Visibly shaken members of the team were filmed leaving the area. There is no suggestion any of the players were hurt.

"Bangladesh team escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park, where there were active shooters," Mr Isam wrote on Twitter. "They ran back through Hagley Park, back to the Oval."

Bangladesh are scheduled to take on New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup on Saturday.

Witness Mohammed Nazir told TVNZ he saw three women bleeding on the ground outside.

He fled the mosque in terror, leaving his shoes and socks behind.

Another witness told the broadcaster: "My husband was driving past he said he took three people to the hospital, one was a little girl all been shot.

"He wanted to take more he said there was like a dozen people just lying on the road."

Radio New Zealand quoted a witness inside the mosque saying he heard shots fired and at least four people were lying on the ground while "there was blood everywhere".

There are alsoi reports of armed police at a second mosque in the nearby suburb of Linwood.

"A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter," New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said.

"Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high."

New Zealand Police tweeted: "Police are currently responding to reports of shots fired in central Christchurch at around 1:40pm.

"Armed police have been deployed. Police urge anyone in central Christchurch to stay indoors and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111."

All local schools have been placed on lockdown and afternoon appointments at Christchurch hospital have been cancelled.

Christchurch’s Cathedral Square has also been evacuated where schoolchildren were holding a rally against climate change.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is being briefed on the situation.

"Horrified to hear of Christchurch mosque shootings. There is never a justification for that sort of hatred," said Amy Adams, a member of parliament from Christchurch.

We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates, pictures and video on this breaking news story.

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