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Iran condemns deadly attack on Shia mosque in South Africa

Police investigators gather at the entrance to the Imam Hussain Mosque on the outskirts of Durban on May 10, 2018, after an attack which left one person dead and two injured. (Photo by AFP)

Iran has strongly condemned a recent attack on a Shia mosque near the eastern South African port city of Durban that killed one and injured several others.

Speaking on Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi condoled with the survivors of the attack as well as the South African government and people.

“The attack aimed to cause insecurity and incite religious sedition,” he said as he called for an immediate probe into the attack to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

Qassemi urged the international community to unite in the fight against the Takfiri terror and root out extremism and terrorism.

Three attackers killed one worshiper by slitting his throat and injured two others, including the imam of the mosque, on Thursday.  

Police said the attackers remained at large after escaping in a Hyundai sedan from the Imam Hussain mosque in Verulam town, on the outskirts of the eastern port city.

Prem Balram, a spokesman for Reaction Unit SA, a private emergency service, who was among the first on the scene, said the suspects were Egyptian males and that the local people had identified them. 

The incident appeared to be unprecedented in South Africa, where about 1.5% of the country’s 55 million population is Muslim.

"There are elements of extremism," Simphiwe Mhlongo, spokesman for the country’s Hawks police unit, told AFP. "It shows hatred towards the worshipers."

Local religious leader Aftab Haider said the Shia community in South Africa had been the victim of a prolonged hate campaign.


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