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Gunshots ring out ahead of Auckland opener, 3 dead, 6 injured



Auckland: The shooting took place hours before the opening game of the Women’s World Cup on Thursday in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. According to the information received, at least two people and an armed assailant were killed and six others, including police officers, were injured. Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said the football tournament would go ahead as planned, adding that the shooting appeared to be the act of an individual and that police were fully investigating the matter.

“There will be no change in New Zealand’s security threat level, although there will be an increased police presence in the city,” Hipkins said in a televised briefing. Police say the shooter, armed with a shotgun, drove through the area. Police said there was rapid fire from the attackers and he was found dead after some time. No information has been revealed about what really happened.

The shooting took place near where several football players were being held. Some of them said on social media that they were safe. Norway captain Maren Mjelde told Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang during the police operation: “Everything seems calm and we are preparing normally for the game tonight.”

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Norway will face New Zealand in the tournament opener at Eden Park in Auckland on Thursday. The Italian team’s training has been delayed as players cannot leave their hotels, while the US team has said all of its players and staff are safe. The US Embassy said “Douglas Emhoff, husband of US Vice President Kamala Harris and leading the presidential delegation to New Zealand to attend the World Cup opening ceremony, is safe. Many roads in Auckland have been cordoned off, all city ferry services have been canceled and buses operating in some areas of the city would be rerouted.