'Lucky to escape': Bangladesh cricket team flee New Zealand mosque mass shootings
The Bangladesh cricket team narrowly escaped the carnage at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, which was the scene of one of two mass shootings that have left 49 people dead and at least 20 wounded.
Bangladeshi players described their horror as the shooting unfolded, having arrived for prayers at the Al Noor mosque, which is near the Hagley Oval stadium where they were due to face New Zealand on Saturday.
Batsman and record run-scorer Tamin Iqbal tweeted that he and his teammates had been saved from “active shooters,” describing the experience as “frightening.”
Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack— Tamim Iqbal Khan (@TamimOfficial28) March 15, 2019
Wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim also described the scenes of panic, saying the team had been "lucky" to escape the violence.
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
The team first fled to the dressing room at the Hagley Oval, before returning safely to their hotel.
ESPN reporter Mohammad Isam, who is with the team in New Zealand, shared footage of some of the players after the attack.
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
The attack at the mosque was one of two launched on Friday morning at Muslim worshippers.
A man in his late 20s has been arrested and charged with murder, police confirmed. Two other men and one woman were also detained and firearms were seized, although it is currently not clear if they were linked to the attacks.
One of the alleged gunmen has been named as 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant, who is said to have live-streamed footage on social media of the attack on Al Noor mosque.
Tarrant allegedly vowed to fight “Muslim invaders,” and described himself as a “regular White man… who decided to take a stand to ensure a future for my people.”Also on rt.com Australian who vowed to fight ‘Muslim invaders’ said to be behind deadly NZ mosque shootings
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that the suspect was an Australian citizen, describing him as an “extremist, right-wing terrorist.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned the attacks as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
What has happened in Christchurch is an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence. It has no place in New Zealand. Many of those affected will be members of our migrant communities – New Zealand is their home – they are us.— Jacinda Ardern (@jacindaardern) March 15, 2019
Saturday’s Third and final test match between Bangladesh and New Zealand has been canceled.
"I've spoken to my counterpart at Bangladesh cricket - we agree it's inappropriate to play cricket at this time,” said New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by the shocking situation in Christchurch. A joint decision between NZC and the @BCBtigers has been made to cancel the Hagley Oval Test. Again both teams and support staff groups are safe.— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) March 15, 2019
"Both teams are deeply affected. As a country, we'll have to look at [security of visiting teams]. It seemed to be a safe haven. I'm sure all of New Zealand will take a look at their approach," he added.