Many dead in New Zealand mosque shooting, witness says

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there is no place in her country for extreme violence after a gunman opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch.

"We are also in the process of mobilising every national police resource to keep people safe", he said.

The gunman used social media accounts to live stream the horrific attacks and has posted a so-called manifesto.

Media reported that a gunman opened fire inside mosque in Christchurch's Hagley Park district.

"Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high", he said in a release on Friday. However, Ardern said other individuals could be involved in the attack and cautioned Christchurch residents to remain sheltered and follow the instructions of local authorities.

The Guardian reports a bomb has been found in a vehicle on Strickland Street in Christchurch, around 3km from the mosque where the shooting took place.

"The multiple fatalities are, as far as we know, at two locations", he said.

Around 300 people were inside the mosque at the time of the shooting. "I saw dead people everywhere". All Christchurch schools are on lockdown.

Witnesses told media that a man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit, and carrying an automatic rifle had started randomly shooting people in the Al Noor mosque.

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"And they had to smash the door, the glass in the small door, and everyone tried to get out - so we were trying to get everyone to run away from the area". "I heard about eight more and then there was another minute and another eight", Jellie said.

"They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not", she said.

The man who claimed responsibility for the shooting said he was 28-year-old white Australian who came to New Zealand only to plan and train for the attack.

One witness told stuff.co.nz he was praying in the Deans Ave mosque when he heard shooting and saw his wife lying dead on the footpath outside when he fled.

A body lies on the footpath outside a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 15, 2019. He added, "It's unbelievable nutty".

"I saw people jumping over the back fence of the mosque into Oakward Close".

"Police urge anyone in central Christchurch to stay off the streets and report any suspicious behaviour", he said in a statement.

Bush said they were "dealing with a very serious and tragic series of events in the Christchurch Canterbury area" and warned people to stay off the streets.

"To most of all show the invaders that our lands will never be their lands, our homelands are our own, and that, as long as a white man still lives, they will NEVER conquer our lands and they will never replace our people".

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