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Cele conveys condolences to family of Verulam mosque attack victim

Abbas Essop’s throat was slit on Thursday when three attackers stormed the mosque and attacked him and two others.

FILE: Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Bheki Cele has conveyed condolences to the family and friends of a man who was murdered at the Imam Hussain Mosque in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal.

Thirty-four-year-old Abbas Essop’s throat was slit on Thursday when three attackers stormed the mosque and attacked him and two others before fleeing in a getaway vehicle with no licence plates.

Muhammad Ali had been stabbed in the stomach, while Imam Ali Nchinyane, who had heard noises from inside the mosque, sustained stab wounds but has since been discharged from a hospital.

Cele was visiting Tshwane University of Technology’s Soshanguve campus on Friday when he reacted to the attack.

He says the case, which is now being investigated by the Hawks, is sensitive.

“I’d like to send my condolences to the Verulam community members. Unfortunately, up to this point, we have no leads on the attackers.”

The minister says the attack seems to have been carefully planned.

“The attack was planned because one of the suspects had a gun but did not use it. We suspect they were scared to attract attention.”

WATCH: They wanted to kill us - mosque attack survivor

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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