Bangladesh cancel rest of New Zealand tour after Christchurch mosque attacks

Bangladeshi players and team staff arrived at the city's Al Noor mosque for Friday prayers as a shooting unfolded and were warned not to go inside

Ambulances parked outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Many people were killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday, a witness said. Police have not yet described the scale of the shooting but urged people in central Christchurch to stay indoors. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
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Bangladesh have cancelled the remainder of their tour of New Zealand following a terrorist attack at a mosque in Christchurch where several people were killed.

The team were on a bus that was pulling up to the Al Noor mosque near Hagley Oval for Friday prayers when the shooting began, but none of the players were inside and all were safe, the New Zealand (NZC) and Bangladesh cricket boards (BCB) said.

Mario Villavarayen, the team's strength and conditioning coach, said it had been a close call.

"They were on the bus, which was just pulling up to the mosque when the shooting begun," Villavarayen told Reuters via Twitter. "They are at the ground, they are shaken but good."

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said there were "multiple fatalities" while Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described it as one of the country's "darkest days".

NZC said they had chosen to cancel the third Test, which was scheduled to start at Hagley Oval on Saturday, after discussions with the Bangladesh board.

"I spoke to my counterpart in Bangladesh and we agree its inappropriate to play cricket at this time," NZC Chief Executive David White told TVNZ. "It's quite unbelievable really. We are shocked."

White said he had spoken to the liaison officer with the Bangladesh team and the players were "shocked".

Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal said on Twitter the experience had been "frightening".

"Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers," he wrote.

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