One person confirmed dead in KZN mosque attack

Three men are fighting for their lives after they were attacked at a Verulam mosque on Thursday.
Three men are fighting for their lives after they were attacked at a Verulam mosque on Thursday.
Image: Reaction Unit SA

One of the men who came under attack at a Verulam mosque in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday afternoon has died.

IPSS Medical Rescue’s Paul Herbst said: “IPSS can now confirm that the person with the slit throat unfortunately has passed away in hospital.”

The death comes as police were trying to piece together what prompted three men to storm the mosque and attack worshipers.

KZN police spokesman Captain Nqobile Gwala said the unknown trio entered the Imam Hussain Mosque in Ottawa in Verulam‚ north of Durban‚ after the midday prayer.

"They allegedly attacked three people and stabbed them. They further set certain rooms alight and fled in their getaway vehicle.

"The victims were taken to hospital for medical attention. The motive of the attack on the three men is unknown at this stage‚" said Gwala.

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

Private security company Reaction Unit South Africa’s Prem Balram said: “Upon arrival‚ Reaction Unit officers found that two victims had their throats slit and were bleeding profusely. Paramedics were called to the scene to attend to the critically injured men. Reaction Unit officers then noticed smoke emanating from the mosque and attempted to douse the flames.”

A third victim was found inside the building. He was bleeding from a “wound to his throat”.

He said that witnesses told officers that three men‚ who were armed with knives and guns‚ “attacked the mosque‚ slitting the victims’ throats and then set fire to the building”.

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