Friday, 22 March, 2019

Bangladesh cricket team forced to flee Christchurch Mosque after shooting incident

LTamim Iqbal of Bangladesh LTamim Iqbal of Bangladesh
Cassandra Castillo | 17 March, 2019, 06:58

The third cricket test between New Zealand and Bangladesh, whose team were on a bus approaching one of the mosques with the attack underway, was cancelled on Friday.

The Bangladesh cricket team narrowly escaped Friday's terror attacks on two Christchurch mosques.

The suspected Al Noor Mosque shooter live streamed the attack on social media for around 17 minutes, local media reported.

Police charged one person, detained three others, and defused explosive devices in what appeared to be a carefully planned and racist attack.

Dhaka complained that players were not provided with any security when they travelled to the mosque.

"It was very traumatic there and people were running out from that mosque presumably and the Bangladesh players were coming out, " he said.

They were due to play with New Zealand's Black Caps near Hagley Park, located in the area where the mass shooting took place.

Visitors head home after almost getting caught up in the terror attack that left 49 people dead, as questions rise whether New Zealand is safe from acts of extreme violence or terrorist attacks. The players stayed on the bus for several minutes with their heads bowed to avoid potential flying bullets, he explained.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board echoed Hasina's concerns, saying it was "unfortunate we did not see any visible security protocol".

"We had a sleepless night after the incident", said the team's stand-in captain Mahmudullah.

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But Chowdhury understood New Zealand matter and said it depends on the security assessment of the country that how they would ensure security.

"They were on the bus, which was just pulling up to the mosque when the shooting begun", he told Reuters via Twitter. We were maximum 50 yards (45 metres) away.

Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal tweeted: "Entire team got saved from active shooters!".

"Hearts pumping badly and panic everywhere". "I just hope after returning home we can overcome it with the passing of time", Tamim said.

"Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online", New Zealand police said in a Twitter post.

Starting Friday, he added, "we need to be assured about minimum security. otherwise it's not possible to go".

At the Singapore Airlines check-in counter, players of the Bangladesh cricket team all looked serious and edgy.

Speaking to Radio New Zealand, Tamim added: "New Zealand has been handsome and very safe whenever we have been".

They also abandoned a tour of Sri Lanka in 1987 following a bombing near their hotel in Colombo.

International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson said the sport's governing body 'fully supports the decision to cancel the test match'.

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