Hawks take over crime scene at Verulam mosque
KZN Hawks spokesperson Simphiwe Mhlongo says that forensic pathologists will continue their investigations today.
DURBAN – The Hawks have taken over the crime scene at a Verulam mosque in KwaZulu-Natal in which a man was killed and two others wounded.
Three men entered the place of worship after afternoon prayers on Thursday, slitting the throat of worshipper Abbas Essop and stabbing two others.
Essop died on his way to hospital while the others are still receiving treatment.
KZN Hawks spokesperson Simphiwe Mhlongo says that forensic pathologists will continue their investigations on Friday.
Mhlongo says their preliminary probe shows that there are elements of extremism which could have possibly been behind this kind of attack.
It’s unclear whether worshippers will still attend prayers here this afternoon.
WATCH: Mosque near Verulam attacked
FIRST ON THE SCENE
Afzaal Sayed is a worshipper at the Imam Hussain Mosque and he was one of the first witnesses on the scene.
He says after they had finished their afternoon prayers on Thursday, they were having lunch at a friends home, which is only a few metres away, when there were loud screams for help.
“He called us loudly, 'There’s an attack at the mosque', so I ran. When I got to the mosque, I saw that the library was fully burnt.
“I tried to put the fire out as the fire brigade came very late and I saw two of my companions very badly injured and one of them has passed away. His name is Abbas Essop.”
#MosqueAttack [WATCH] An emotional and tears-eyed Afzaal Sayed, who was one of the first people on the scene after the attack, makes a plea to the SA government that his never happens again. He’s also a worshipper here at the Imam Husain mosque. ZN pic.twitter.com/78XJH407S7— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) May 11, 2018
Sayed has been emotional when recounting the events.
“I found out that the other attack took place in the kitchen because they had already burnt our library and our prayer room. They put the victim on the floor and slaughtered the man very badly and one of the guys was injured after they cut his stomach.”
He says their prayer room and library were burnt down.
But despite the brutal attack, Sayed says they are willing to come for their noon prayers today.