Hawks question when suspected bomb was planted inside Verulam mosque

On Sunday night, authorities were again called to Verulam but this time after worshippers had discovered a white capsule connected via two cables to a cellphone.

FILE: Police outside at the Imam Hussain Mosque near Verulam following an attack on the complex. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN

VERULAM - After a dramatic couple of hours, a suspected explosive that was found inside the Imam Hussain Mosque has been taken by the bomb squad for further assessment.

On Sunday night, authorities were again called to Verulam but this time after worshippers had discovered a white capsule connected via two cables to a cellphone.

The device was found underneath the moulana’s chair when congregants were moving the pulpit.

This happened just hours after Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the mosque in the aftermath of last Thursday’s deadly attack.

More than four hours after the bomb unit arrived here, the suspected explosive has been taken by the team of experts for further assessments.

Authorities are understood to have confirmed that the device is a bomb but are yet to know of what kind.

At the same time, the provincial Hawks have questioned how and when the device was planted inside the mosque.

Spokesperson Simphiwe Mhlongo:"It’s so strange that they found a device like this after the crime scene was cleared on Friday."

Meanwhile, nearby residents who had been evacuated for the duration of probe, say they no longer feel safe in the area and will host a community meeting on Monday to discuss a way forward.