Two killed in knife attack at mosque in South Africa

The mosque in Malmesbury where an attacker killed

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.

At least two people were stabbed to death and others injured in an attack at a mosque in Malmesbury in the early hours of Thursday morning.

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.

Police added that several other people had also been wounded in the attack before the assailant was shot dead by police.

The motive was not clear, but police said it had "elements of extremism".

Three people including a police officer were injured.

"The suspect, believed to be in his thirties and armed with a knife, was still on the scene and charged at the police who tried to persuade him to hand himself over".


In the early hours of Thursday, two worshipers - engaged in the religious practice of Itikaaf where men pray and sleep at the mosque for the last ten days of the Islamic holy month of Ramadaan - were killed by a knife-wielding stranger to whom they had offered refuge for the night.

"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".

When asked how long it was, he sighed and said it was "a killer knife".

The knifemen killed one person and seriously hurt two others during the rampage.

"Just after 3 am, when the worshippers retreated to rest, the assailant attacked the imam first and then murdered the members who came to the imam's defence", it said in a statement.

"There was an old man and he tried to cut the old man's head off and the man died".

But he said: "I appeal to communities to work together for peace‚ and let's not import these foreign concepts into our Islam".

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