Wellington, March 9 (IANS) Four police officers were shot and injured in New Zealand’s North Island on Wednesday.
The attack took place in the Bay of Plenty when police personnel were in the area to seize illegal cannabis when the first shots were fired.
Two injured officers are in a stable condition, the third in a serious condition, and the fourth is receiving treatment for a gunshot wound on his hand, Xinhua news agency reported.
Police initially said three officers were shot, but later the fourth officer also was found to have received a gunshot wound.
The Armed Offenders Squad, a specialist unit of the New Zealand Police designed to cordon, contain and appeal to armed and dangerous offenders, is currently at the scene on a rural property near the town of Kawerau.
St. John central communications spokesman Mark Tregoweth said, “Police are leading the operation so we have been told to direct all media queries to them.”
The public has been advised to avoid the area.
Deputy police commissioner Mike Clement said that only one person has been suspected to be involved in the attack.
The alleged offender was still in a house on the outskirts of the Kawerau town.