3:19 pm - Friday February 23, 7866

Manhunt in New Zealand after two shot dead

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A manhunt was underway in New Zealand on Monday after two people were shot dead and another injured at a government office, police said.

A man wearing a balaclava and carrying a firearm entered the Work and Income office in the town of Ashburton, about 75 kilometres south-west of Christchurch, and fired several shots before fleeing, reports quoted police as saying.

The weapon was believed to be a sawn-off shotgun, the Ashburton Guardian reported.

Police imposed cordons and stormed a house in Ashburton following the killings, and said they were looking for a man named John Tully, the newspaper said.

Residents were told to leave their homes only if necessary, and inform the police of any suspicious behaviour, the New Zealand Herald reported.

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