Bangladesh cricketers had to turn back after there was shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch. (Image credit: Twitter)
Armed police in New Zealand swarmed central Christchurch on Friday amid reports of a shooting at Al Noor mosque in the South Island city. "Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high." Local media said there were multiple casualties at one mosque and said another had been evacuated. However, the Bangladesh cricket team, who are touring New Zealand and will play the third and final Test at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Saturday, had a narrow escape. A video tweeted by Bangladesh’s ESPNCricinfo correspondent Mohammad Isam showed the Bangladesh cricketers Tamim Iqbal and Taijul Islam running back from Hagley Park back to the cricket ground. The incident took place around 1.45pm local time when the team had gone to pray when the incident took place. According to reports, there has been incidents of another shooting in a mosque in Linwood. There are also reports of a shooting outside Christchurch hospital and a bomb was found outside Strickland street.
There were a couple of Bangladesh journalists who were accompanying the team and they decided to turn back. Canterbury Police have tweeted to avoid the area around Dean Avs stating that there was a critical incident in the area. The fate of the Test match which will be played on March 16 is uncertain. There has been no word yet from both the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the New Zealand Cricket Board on whether the Test match will be conducted in the wake of the incident. The distance from Hagley Oval to the shooting area is just 1.4 kilometers away.
At the time of filing the story, the shooting was still going on and New Zealand Police tweeted to Christchurch residents to be indoors and that all schools were locked down.
Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack— Tamim Iqbal Khan (@TamimOfficial28) March 15, 2019
Bangladesh team escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters. They ran back through Hagley Park back to the Oval. pic.twitter.com/VtkqSrljjV— Mohammad Isam (@Isam84) March 15, 2019
Tamim Iqbal, who was seen walking back to Hagley Oval, tweeted Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack. Mushfiqur Rahim also tweeted saying that the team had a narrow escape.
Alhamdulillah Allah save us today while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque...we r extremely lucky...never want to see this things happen again....pray for us— Mushfiqur Rahim (@mushfiqur15) March 15, 2019
1/2 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...— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
2/2 ... 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.— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
Bangladesh have endured a torrid time on the field in New Zealand, losing all three ODIs by big margins to be whitewashed 3-0. They lost the first Test by an innings and 52 runs in Hamilton and in the previous Test at Wellington, Bangladesh still lost the Test by an innings and 12 runs despite two days being washed due to rain at the Basin Reserve.