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'Bullets were flying over my head': Eyewitnesses describe horrific scenes in Christchurch

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Witness of the Christchurch mosque shootings recount how the 'horrific' scenes have 'devastated' the community.

Mirwais Waziri sat in the hallway of Christchurch's Al Noor mosque as the gunman's bullets flew over his head.

He told SBS Pashto he was lucky to escape with his life. 

"The bullet struck my neck then hit the wall," he said.

"I was lucky it didn't hit me on the head."  

Mr Waziri, who was inside the mosque as the gunman stormed the building, described scenes as "tragic".

He said a "fully armed" white male dressed like "anti-terrorism forces" shot repeatedly inside the mosque.

"The bullets were flying over my head," he said. 

"He had lots of bullets, he was refilling ammunition and kept shooting at people."

Mirwais Waziri pictured right.
Mirwais Waziri pictured right.
Supplied

Forty-nine people have been killed after a gunman opened fire at two mosques in New Zealand.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has described the events at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques as "one of New Zealand's darkest days". 

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush confirmed that police had taken four people into custody, including one Australian.

"The multiple fatalities are, as far as we know, at two locations," he said. 

"We are unsure if there are any other locations outside of that area that are under threat."

Mr Waziri said more than 300 people would have been inside the most during the attack.

"When the gunmen turned his face, I then ran away and sought refuge in the back," he said.

Katherine Jamieson was returning home when she found her Christchurch street in lockdown.

Heavily armed police stood outside the Al Noor mosque, just a few houses down from her own. 

She described the scene outside the mosque as "horrific".

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WATCH: New Zealand police arrest four people after fatal mosque shooting.
WATCH: New Zealand police arrest four people after fatal mosque shooting.

Ms Jamieson told SBS News bloodied victims lay in ambulances and shaken victims stood comforting each other following the gunman's shooting.

"They were devastated and terrified and I saw [people] who were from the mosque covered in blood sitting in ambulances,” Ms Jamieson said.

Ms Jamieson said outside the Al Noor mosque there were "people crying everywhere".

"They were just so shaken, there were just shell-shocked," she said.

Police attempt to clear people from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday.
Police attempt to clear people from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday.
AP

 Witness Avam Ali told Radio New Zealand how the shooting unfolded. 

"The guy just started firing shots, we all took for cover."

"We didn't hear no more shots and we got up and obviously some people from the mosque ran out, and they came back in a pile of blood."

"Some had been shot and then about five minutes after that the police turned up." 

Witness Len Peneha told AAP he saw the gunman enter the Al Noor mosque about 1.45pm and heard dozens of gunshots.

"I saw dead people everywhere. There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque," he said.

Mr Peneha has lived next door to the mosque for about five years. 

"It's unbelievably nutty. I don't understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone. It's ridiculous."

He said the gunman fled the scene, dropping what looked like a semi-automatic weapon.

A police officer attempts to move people away from across the road from a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday.
A police officer attempts to move people away from across the road from a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday.

Witnesses reported seeing a man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit carrying an automatic rifle entering the Masjid Al Noor Mosque.

The second shooting took place Linwood Masjid, located on Linwood Avenue.

A witness of that shooting, Syed Ahmed said a man wearing a black motorcycle helmet and camouflage clothing started shooting from outside the the building.

He said the man shot several elderly people sitting on chairs during prayer.

"They were basically all shot," he told Stuff.co.nz. 
 
Mr Ahmed said he stayed "low on the ground" to flee the scene through the storeroom. 

Police and ambulance staff help a wounded man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday.
Police and ambulance staff help a wounded man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday.
AP

Sheik Ali said his brother was in the mosque at Linwood when the shooting started. 

He said the shooting has shaken the community. 

"As a community we've never had an issue like this in New Zealand," he told stuff.co.NZ.

Ms Jamieson described the community impact as "devastating". 

"It is just devastating news to hear in our local community and in our city."

"My heart goes out to people who have been personally affected by it." 

People stand across the road from a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday.
People stand across the road from a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday.
AP

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