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'Saw people drop dead in front of me: NZ witnesses recount horror

March 15, 2019 16:01 IST

At least 49 people have been killed in terror attacks at two New Zealand mosques on Friday.

The shootings at Linwood Masjid Mosque and Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch took place during Friday prayers. Describing the horrific attacks, eyewitnesses said that they saw blood and bodies everywhere.

IMAGE: Police cordon off Linwood Avenue near the Linwood Masjid in Christchurch, New Zealand where a gunman opened fire at pedestrians and worshippers. Photograph: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

'Our brothers have been shot'

Sabir Hussain was deep in prayer when the leader of his Christchurch mosque halted proceedings: "Our brothers have been shot."

According to a report in Stuff.co.nz, Hussain said when the shooting started, he kept low and went into the wash and storeroom where he saw a man dead outside. He knew he "was not safe", jumped out of the window and hid behind a fence until police arrived.

 

'He started shooting everyone in the mosque'

Ahmad Al-Mahmoud was at the Al Noor mosque when the gunman stormed inside and opened fire.

Al-Mahmoud, was quoted by Reuters saying, "He had a big gun ... he came and started shooting everyone in the mosque, everywhere. They had to smash the door -- the glass from the window and the door -- to get everyone out.

"We were trying to get everyone to run away from this area. I ran away from the car park, jumping through the back [yard] of houses."

'Saw people drop dead in front of me'

Nour told the New Zealand Herald that the gunman shot multiple worshipers outside before carrying out his rampage inside the mosque where he shot people indiscriminately. "I saw people drop dead in front of me. I was crawling to get away," he said.

IMAGE: A floral tribute is seen on Linwood Avenue near the Linwood Masjid. Mosques across New Zealand have been closed and police are urging people not to attend Friday prayers as a safety precaution. Photograph: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

‘Could hear screaming, crying’

A man in a wheelchair, Farid Ahmed spoke to news outlet TVNZ about the shooting at the Al Noor mosque.

“Suddenly the shooting started. It started in the main room...I was in the side room, so I didn’t see who was shooting but I saw that some people were running out to my room where I was in, I saw some people had blood on their body and some people were limping. It was at the moment I realised things were really serious,” he said.

He said that the gunman had done his massacre inside the mosque and that he could hear screaming and crying.

“I could hear screaming and crying, I saw some people drop dead, some people were running away,” Ahmed said.

‘Blood was splashing on me’

Ramzan Ali, who was inside the Al Noor mosque during the shooting, said he was the last man to come out of the mosque, reported Newshub, a news outlet in New Zealand.

“The Sheikh was giving the sermon on Friday prayers and it was 1:42 [pm] and the gun starts shooting and he just came in and he was shooting ad hoc,” he said. “The guns started... He just came in and was shooting. I actually didn’t see him, I was just lying down on the bench thinking ‘if I get up I’ll get shot’,” he recounted. 

He said he was the last person to come out of the mosque after the shooting had stopped and that he could see many bodies around him. 

"The blood was splashing on me and I thought 'oh my God, what's going to happen to me now? But fortunately I'm alive,” Ali said.

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