21:32 GMT +318 October 2019
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    Police block the road near the shooting at a mosque in Linwood, Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday

    Christchurch Area Police Responding to an Incident in Phillipstown, NZ- Reports

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    Christchurch police have blocked off a Phillipstown street in the eastern part of the New Zealand city urging local citizens to stay away, the NZ Herald reported citing residents. Police have cordoned off the Newcastle Street area, according to reports.

    A man has been arrested after a report of a suspicious item at a Christchurch property, police said in a statement.

    Police reported that the bomb squad has defused the alleged explosive device.

    Fire department vehicles and ambulances are also present in the area, the reports say. Some residents have also reportedly been evacuated from nearby homes and asked to go to the Linwood College hall.

    READ MORE: Sri Lankan Blasts Response to Christchurch Attack in NZ — Minister

    The incident comes after a deadly shooting that took place in March. 

    On 15 March, a violent shooting in two mosques rocked Christchurch, leaving 50 people dead and dozens injured. The 28-year-old suspected shooter, Australian national Brenton Harrison Tarrant, said his motivation was his anti-Muslim and anti-migrant views. In the wake of the tragedy, NZ PM Ardern announced a ban on military style semi-automatic firearms and assault rifles.


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