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Religious bodies condemn Verulam mosque attack

Three men stormed the mosque on Thursday wearing half balaclavas, slitting the throat of a man believed to be the mosque's imam. He later died in hospital.

A mosque in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal, was attacked by a group of men on 10 May 2018. Picture: Reaction Unit South Africa Facebook page.

JOHANNESBURG – Religious bodies have strongly condemned the attack on a mosque in Verulam in KwaZulu-Natal which left one person dead.

Three men stormed the mosque on Thursday wearing half balaclavas, slitting the throat of a man believed to be the mosque's imam. He later died in hospital.

Two other people are in hospital after being wounded in the attack.

Religious bodies have reacted to the attack on the mosque in Verulam, describing the latest developments as a senseless horrific crime.

The Jewish Board of Deputy's Zev Krengel says: “There has to be a certain level of sanctity at any place of worship, whether it’s Muslim, Jewish or Christian or Hindu. Places of worship have to be respected.”

While the United Ulimar Council of South Africa’s Yusuf Patel has appealed for calm from the public as police investigate the case.

“We’ve requested that the Hawks be given the time and the space to do their work. We do no know who’s behind the attack.”

The attackers threw a petrol bomb inside the mosque before fleeing the scene in a vehicle with no registration plates. No arrests have yet been made.

Meanwhile, Parliament has called on police to priorities the investigation into the attack.

KZN police have appealed to anyone with information that could assist them in the investigation to come forward.

Spokesperson Nqobile Gwala says: “We’re also appealing to anyone if they have any information to come forward with information that will assist us to arrest the suspects.”

Forensic investigators are expected to return to the scene of a mosque attack on Friday morning.

The details remain sketchy, but the man who died on his way to hospital has been confirmed to be Abbas Mohamedelo Essop.

It’s understood that he was married and has two children. Two of the other victims are still receiving treatment in hospital.

It’s unclear whether worshippers will be able to attend Friday prayers at this mosque at noon for weekly prayers.

[WARNING] The following videos contain graphic content. It may be disturbing to sensitive viewers. Viewer discretion advised.

WATCH: Mosque near Verulam attacked