Verulam mosque attack victim identified

The details remain sketchy at this stage but it’s been reported that the man who died on his way to hospital has been confirmed to be Abbas Mohamedelo Essop.

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

DURBAN – Eyewitness News has independently confirmed that the man killed during the attack at a mosque in Verulam is Abbas Mohamedelo Essop.

A group of men stormed the mosque on Thursday afternoon wearing half balaclavas, slitting Essop’s throat and stabbing two others.

The attackers are said to have then sped off in a white vehicle.

The details remain sketchy at this stage but it’s been reported that the man who died on his way to hospital has been confirmed to be Essop.

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

Worshippers who come to the mosque for Friday noon prayers are likely to be affected by Thursday’s attack.

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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.”

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.