At least 49 people have been killed in shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch in New Zealand. Reports say 41 persons were killed at the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue and nine at the Linwood Mosque.
According to an eye witness identified as Mohan Ibrahim who originally hails from Bangladesh, he was inside the larger of the two mosques when the attack happened but he managed to escape.
“Lots of people I know. I met them regularly in the mosque when I’d go there. These people are not any more. And that’s really unacceptable. I can’t believe my eyes what I saw today,” Ibrahim said.
Ibrahim, who arrived in New Zealand as a student five years ago added: “I never expected that because I’ve been living here for five years and I know that New Zealand is one of the safest countries but I’m so scared now. I never imagined like I have to face up to something that I saw today with my own eyes.”
The Bangladesh national cricket team appeared to have narrowly escaped the shooting at the Al Noor Mosque. The team’ manager, Khaled Mashud said had they arrived three minutes earlier, the team would have been in the mosque during the shooting.
Mohammed Isam, Bangladesh correspondent for ESPN said he was with the players at the time. They were due to play New Zealand in the now-cancelled test match on Saturday.
“We ran through the park and headed back to the ground for safety and were there for about an hour. The players heard shots being fired. They saw people tumbling out of the gates and ducked under the bus,” he said.
Bangladesh’s High Commission in Australia’s capital, Canberra has released a statement detailing the reports of the death of three persons of Bangladesh origin as well as a few who were critically injured.
The Commission also urged the Bangladeshi community in New Zealand to stay indoors and listen to the police until Saturday when the honorary consul, Shafiqur Rahman will visit Christchurch.