Assailants attack South Africa Shia mosque with guns, petrol bombs

Last Updated: May 11 2018 18:27

On Thursday, armed assailants attacked a mosque outside the South African city of Durban, claiming the life of an Imam and wounding 2 others in a country known for its peaceful religious relations.

According to the police, the assailants remained at large after escaping in a Hyundai car from the Imam Hussain mosque in Verulam town, on the outskirts of the eastern port city.

“The motive of the attack is unknown at this stage. Verulam police are investigating three counts of attempted murder and arson,” police spokeswoman Nqobile Gwala said in a statement.

Paul Herbst, spokesman for the private IPSS medical rescue service, told AFP that the imam had his throat slit and passed away a few hours after the attack.

“There were three people in the mosque -- a caretaker, a worshipper and the imam and they were held up by three armed men,” Herbst said.

“The (imam) was tied up and thrown to his knees and his throat was slit. The other two men were also stabbed -- one was stabbed in the abdomen and the other in the groin of his left leg.

“Before the assailants left the mosque, a petrol bomb was thrown into the mosque and it was set alight.”