Royal Canadian Mounted Police use their vehicles to create a perimeter in Moncton, New Brunswick. The RCMP said an undisclosed number of people have been shot and a manhunt is under way in the north end of Moncton for a gunman. Picture: Marc Grandmaison, The Canadian Press

Toronto - Three police officers were shot dead in New Brunswick and two more were wounded, Canadian police said on Wednesday, as they conducted a manhunt for a man carrying a rifle and wearing camouflage clothes.

Police said they were searching for Justin Bourque, 24, of Moncton, a city of about 70 000 people on the east coast.

“Three officers mortally wounded by shooter,” the New Brunswick division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said on Twitter. “Two officers sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Shooter still actively sought.”

Regional healthcare outfit Horizon Health Network, a regional health care organisation, said on its Twitter feed that Moncton's hospital had received three patients with gunshot wounds.

Local media published a photograph of a man in camouflage clothing and a black headband carrying a rifle. Reuters could not immediately authenticate the picture. - Reuters