South African po­lice kill man af­ter fa­tal mosque at­tack

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - WORLD -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG: A man fa­tally stabbed two peo­ple and wounded sev­eral oth­ers Thurs­day at a mosque near Cape Town, be­fore po­lice shot and killed the at­tacker, au­thor­i­ties said.

The as­sailant, be­lieved to be in his thir­ties, charged po­lice who had tried to per­suade him to sur­ren­der af­ter the at­tack in Malmes­bury in Western Cape prov­ince, po­lice said.

“He ig­nored the calls and tried to at­tack po­lice. He was shot and killed in the process,” said a state­ment from po­lice, who did not im­me­di­ately com­ment on a pos­si­ble mo­tive for the at­tack.

A man said his fa­ther had been sleep­ing in the Malmes­bury mosque when he was killed just ahead of the end of the holy month of Ra­madan. Suad Bassa, son of Is­mail Bassa, said in an in­ter­view with the News24 out­let the at­tacker also in­jured his brother when they con­fronted him.

“It’s sad, but Al­lah has taken him away in the place that he loved the most,” Suad Bassa said.

News24 video footage showed the body of the at­tacker ly­ing in an open area cor­doned off by po­lice tape.

On May 10, as­sailants killed one per­son and in­jured two oth­ers in a sim­i­lar at­tack on a mosque in the east­ern town of Verulam, near Dur­ban. No ar­rests have been made.

South Africa’s Mus­lim Ju­di­cial Coun­cil said it was “shocked to its core” by the at­tack in Malmes­bury and that its pres­i­dent and his deputies were head­ing to the mosque.

“We do not have any fur­ther de­tails as yet but we urge the com­mu­nity not to jump to any con­clu­sions un­til clar­ity can be given,” the coun­cil said.

The Demo­cratic Al­liance, an op­po­si­tion party that runs Western Cape prov­ince, con­demned the at­tack and said South Africans have the right to re­li­gious free­dom.

“An at­tack on peo­ple while they wor­ship is a di­rect at­tack on the con­sti­tu­tion and the free­doms we en­joy in this coun­try,” the party said. –

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