Two stabbed to death in South Africa mosque, attacker killed


A man stabbed two people to death and wounded two others in an attack on Thursday at a mosque in South Africa before being shot dead by the police, officers said.
The police have surrounded the building in Malmesbury near Cape Town outside which a body lay under a tree and a penknife had been discarded nearby, said an AFP correspondent at the scene. The attacker’s motive remains unclear.
It comes just a month after a deadly stabbing at another South African mosque, which the police said had “elements of extremism” and left an Islamic leader dead.
The police were alerted by early morning worshippers and arrived at Malmesbury’s mosque to find two people had died of stab wounds, Western Cape police spokeswoman Noloyiso Rwexana, told AFP.
“The suspect, believed to be in his thirties and armed with a knife, charged at the police, who tried to persuade him to hand himself over,” she said.
“He ignored the calls and tried to attack police. He was shot dead.”
Ms. Rwexana said the police were “combing the scene for clues”.
Local media said the suspect was a Somali, but the police have not confirmed this.
‘He was slaughtered’
Zainab Bassa, the wife of 72-year-old Ismail Bassa who was killed in the attack, told AFP that her husband of more than 30 years was “slaughtered” as he prayed.
“My husband talked to everybody, he loved kids, it’s a great loss for me, as well as for the community, ” she said.
Two other people were wounded and are being treated in hospital.
The Muslim Judicial Council, which represents the Muslim community in South Africa, appealed to the community not to speculate about the attacker’s motives and said its top leadership would travel to the area to assist the community.


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