Home South African News MOSQUE ATTACK UPDATE: Manhunt launched for KZN mosque attackers

MOSQUE ATTACK UPDATE: Manhunt launched for KZN mosque attackers

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Three knifemen attacked the Imam Hussain Mosque in Ottawa Verulam knifing three people before setting the mosque alight and fleeing.

Three knifemen, believe to be Egyptian attacked the Imam Hussain Mosque in Ottawa Verulam on Thursday, knifing three people before setting the mosque alight and fleeing. Picture RUSA

Durban – Police have launched a manhunt for three men who launched a brazen attack on a Mosque in Verulam on Thursday, slitting two people’s throats and gutting a third.

Three knifemen attacked the Imam Hussain Mosque in Ottawa Verulam shortly after 2.30pm, knifing three people including the Moulana before setting the mosque alight and fleeing.

The motive for the attack is unknown.

At this stage, police have not confirmed the nationality of the attackers. 

Onlookers gather around a man being treated for knife wounds at a mosque in Verulam that was attacked by three men on Thursday. Picture: RUSA

It was initially believed that the attackers were Egyptians. However this was denied by Ayman Walashm, the Press Liaison for the Egyptian Embassy who said: “We can not confirm if the suspects were Egyptians. This has just happened and there is an investigation underway, so at this stage, we have no comment.”

According to Reaction Unit SA, their control room received multiple calls on Thursday about a “terror attack” on the mosque.

“Upon arrival Reaction Officers found that two victims had their slit and were bleeding profusely,” Prem Balram of Reaction Unit said. 

A knife was found near one of the men who were stabbed during an attack on a mosque in Verulam on Thursday.

“Paramedics were called to the scene to attend to the critically injured men. Reaction Officer then noticed smoke emanating from the mosque and attempted to douse the flames. A third victim was found inside the building bleeding from a wound to his throat. A knife was found beside a victim.  According to witnesses three armed Egyptian males armed with knives and guns attacked the mosque, slitting the victims…  The suspects who were wearing half balaclavas fled in a white Hyundai light motor vehicle with no registration plates,” Balram said.

Captain Nqobile Gwala, police spokesperson, said the motive for the attack is unknown at this stage. 

“Verulam police are investigating three counts of attempted murder and arson. No arrests have been made at this stage,” she said. 

Daily News