An attack by a knife-wielding suspect, on a mosque in Malmesbury, has left the town’s community shaken. The incident happened during the early hours of Thursday morning, and two men died from their injuries, several others were hurt.

Law Enforcement spokesperson, Andre Traut, said Malmesbury police were called to the scene of the crime and were shocked to find the suspect still there.

“The suspect, who is believed to be in his thirties, was armed with a knife and still on the scene,” he said. “Police tried to persuade him to hand himself over. He ignored the calls and tried to attack police.”

An officer who responded to the incident shot and killed the suspect, when the man tried to attack him. Traut added that detectives are currently searching the scene of the crime for clues.

He entered the mosque whilst in I’tikaaf (morning prayer), and another regular musalee, and attacked two people.

The Muslim community are currently fasting for Ramadan, and are days away from celebrating Eid.

The Muslim Judicial Council said that they we’re shocked to hear of the brutal attack on the Malmesbury Masjied. “We do not have any further details as yet but we urge the community not to jump to any conclusions until clarity can be given.”

Speaking to News24, Constable of the Malmesbury Police, Henry Durant, said that fellow worshippers were not aware that the suspect was about to commit such a violent crime. “There was an old man and he tried to cut the old man’s head off and the man died. Other people went to the Swartand hospital,” Durant said.

Five weeks ago, there was an attack on a mosque in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal, and one person was killed –  two others were seriously injured. The suspects set the mosque ablaze before fleeing the scene.

A police task team is expected to brief the Portfolio Committee on Police on the attack’s investigation.

 

Picture: Pixabay

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Lucinda is a lifestyle writer with a hard news edge, and recent journalism graduate. She enjoys reading travel blogs and loves animals.