Police hunt for three men who attacked worshippers in Verulam mosque

Police hunt for three men who attacked worshippers in Verulam mosque

South African Police Service spokesperson Capt Nqobile Gwala said police were on the scene and were trying to confirm details.

The attackers then set fire on the mosque and fled in a white Hyundai Getz.

Social activist Yusuf Abramjee said he had seen information being circulated online that the attacked mosque belonged to the Shia sect.

On arrival at the Imam Hussain Mosque, they found two victims bleeding profusely and the mosque on fire.

Only around three percent of South Africa's population is estimated to practice Islam, and the majority of the country's Muslims live in the capital of Cape Town.

According to local media, people were worshipping in the mosque in Ottawa's Old Main Road earlier this afternoon when a group of armed man stormed into the place and slit three persons' throats. The other two men were also stabbed - one was stabbed in the abdomen and the other in the groin of his left leg.

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Yet faced with weeks of mass protests, Sargsyan left the premiership on April 23, six days after his election. The situation in Armenia has been tense since April 13, when protests led by Pashinyan began in Armenia .

One of the three victims died on the way to hospital while the motive for the attack remains unclear.

"We reiterate and emphasise the core Islamic teaching and principle of "respect for all human beings", Shaykh Isgaak Taliep, secretary general of the Muslim Judicial Council, said. Paramedics were called to the scene to attend to the critically injured men.

Prem Balram, spokesman for the Reaction Unit South Africa security company, said he had arrived at the mosque to find two victims covered in blood lying in the forecourt of the mosque.

"It is the first time anything like this has happened in South Africa, let alone in KwaZulu-Natal province", Faizel Suliman, chairman of the SA Muslim Network, told AFP.

South Africa has a history of relative religious tolerance.

He condemned the incident and said there is no need for sectarianism or use of violence. "Speculation about the motive is quite unsafe at this point".

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