Forty-nine people are dead after gunmen opened fire on two mosques in Christchurch during packed Friday prayers, confirmed police commissioner Mike Bush.
One of the gunmen reportedly live streamed the attack and posted the video on social media channels. The horrific video which was later taken down by Facebook shows multiple people being shot with an automatic weapon.
The shootings took place at the Masjid Al Noor on Deans Ave, and the Linwood Masjid on Linwood Ave on Friday afternoon. The Papanui High School is also under high security.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the deadly mosque shootings in Christchurch had plunged the country into one of its "darkest days".
"Clearly, what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence," Ardern said in an address to a shocked nation.
The police have also found several improvised explosive devices (IEDs) attached to cars in Christchurch city, according to a report by Stuff.co.nz.
Four people, including one woman, have so far been arrested.
Mosques around New Zealand are currently under armed guard. Muslims have been advised to stay at home behind closed doors until further notice.