One dead as attackers slit throats of worshippers at South African mosque

One dead as attackers slit throats of worshippers at South African mosque

One dead as attackers slit throats of worshippers at South African mosque

Balram said another man was found inside the mosque.

Police are investigating two counts of attempted murder and one of murder. About 1.5 percent of the country's population is Muslim.

Africa's most industrialized country has a large expatriate community and attracts many tourists but has seldom been associated with Islamist militancy.

He said witnesses at the scene claimed that the attackers ran into the mosque screaming and attacked people.

Local people at the scene managed to identify the suspects.

"The imam, who had his throat slit, has passed away a few minutes ago due to his injuries", said Paul Herbst, spokesman for the private IPSS medical rescue service.

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Three assailants entered a Mosque in the South African town of Verulam on Thursday and stabbed three people before lighting the building on fire, according to reports.

Belram said: "Upon arrival‚ Reaction Unit officers found that two victims had their throats slit and were bleeding profusely". They then threw a petrol bomb into the building. "He was treated by paramedics on the scene and transferred [to a hospital]". In a separate incident, someone left a pig's snout in a mosque. "One knife was left behind", Balram said.

Beukman said "everything" should be done to arrest the perpetrators and he called on anyone who has information about the attackers to contact the police. "Speculation about the motive is quite risky at this point".

South Africa has a history of relative religious tolerance.

"So the moment we make examples and we start using the aspect that this has happened in Pakistan and other places, we might be giving an impression that this is necessarily so", he said. "We want our communities to live in harmony, practicing their religions without fear".

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