An injured person is loaded into an ambulance following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 15, 2019. (Photo: VCG)
CHRISTCHURCH, March 15 (Xinhua) -- At least 27 people were killed in multiple shootings in the two mosques of New Zealand's Christchurch on Friday afternoon.
At least two gunmen opened fire at two separate mosques in Christchurch, according to local media. Witnesses described that there are much blood and multiple deaths. At least 50 rounds of gunshots were heard during the shooting, said one witness.
At least 27 people were shot dead. Some reports also said that gunshots happened in at least six different places.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to the public at 4:00 pm local time. She said: "This is one of New Zealand's darkest days. My thoughts are with Christchurch."
"It is an unprecedented violence in New Zealand. There is no place for such extreme violence in New Zealand."
According to reports, a gunman in camouflage uniforms opened fire inside the Masjid Al Noor mosque full of prayers in central Christchurch during the afternoon praying time.
The Bangladesh cricket team was about to enter the mosque when the shooting occurred, so the team members fled safely.
Local media also reported another shooting at a second mosque on a Christchurch suburb.
Police said they have already captured one suspect, and are hunting other possible suspects.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said one person is in custody, however police believed there may be other offenders.
Bush also confirmed there had been a number of fatalities with situation still evolving.
People are recommended by the police to stay indoor. All mosques nationally are urged to shut their doors, and people are advised to refrain from visiting these premises until further notice.
Armed police have been deployed. Local streets and schools are locked down.
Christchurch airport operates as normal.
Chinese Consul General in Christchurch Wang Zhijian told Xinhua that emergence response has been activated. No casualty of Chinese citizen has being reported yet.
The Consulate General office is working with local police to further check if there is any Chinese citizen being caught in the gunfire.