At least one gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 40 during Friday prayers at two New Zealand mosques in the country's worst ever mass shooting, reports Reuters quoting New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday (Mar 15).
A gunman broadcast livestream footage on Facebook of the attack on one mosque in the city of Christchurch, mirroring the carnage played out in video games, after publishing a "manifesto" in which he denounced immigrants, calling them "invaders".
The video footage widely circulated on social media, apparently taken by a gunman and posted online live as the attack unfolded, showed him driving to one mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people inside.
Worshippers, possibly dead or wounded, lay huddled on the floor, the video showed.
Bangladesh cricket team also narrowly avoided being caught up in the shootings and their third Test match agasint New Zealand has been called off.
Violent crime is rare in New Zealand and police do not usually carry guns. Britain's Queen Elizabeth, the head of state of New Zealand, said she was deeply saddened by the shootings.
Before Friday, New Zealand's worst mass shooting was in 1990 when a gun-mad loner killed 13 men, women and children in a 24-hour rampage in the tiny seaside village of Aramoana. He was killed by police.