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Explosive found in South African mosque days after knife attack

15 May 2018

Repeated efforts to contact Mhlongo failed at the time of publishing.

"We had a meeting with the explosive unit members, who briefed us on the device they had taken away on Sunday near the South African port city of Durban".

The find came just hours after Police Minister Bheki Cele had visited the site after the fatal knife attack on Thursday.

"We can confirm that there is a device that was found at the mosque".

Police are still searching for the suspects.

Iqbal Jassat of Media Review Network, the Muslim advocacy group, said they were "shocked and outraged by the violent attack which displayed utter disregard for the sanctity of life and the sacredness of the mosque". The mosque and houses around were evacuated in the wake of the discovery.

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Spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi says they have been analysing the object.

The mosque in Verulam in KwaZulu Natal province was the site of a deadly knife attack that saw the death of one man and the injury of two others.

The caretaker and muzzein (the man tasked with leading the call to prayer)‚ Muhammad Ali‚ had noticed the men at the gate and thinking they were coming to pray‚ let them inside. Several rooms in the building, including the library, were set alight after a petrol bomb was hurled into the mosque.

On May 10, an imam was killed by armed men who, stormed a mosque near Durban in South Africa, slitting the throats of two worshippers and the holy man before fleeing.

He became a collateral casualty in the attack‚ believed to be motivated by "extremist elements" intent on killing the resident moulana and razing the building to the ground.

He surmised that the bomb had been planted during last week's attack and that it had been missed by police forensic investigators who had examined the crime scene.

Explosive found in South African mosque days after knife attack