Three People Critical As KZN Mosque Targeted

Emergency services attend to the three injured victims

Two other people were injured.

"The motive of the attack on the three men is unknown at this stage", Capt. Nqobile Gwala with police in KwaZulu-Natal province told The Associated Press in an email. There are usually few people at the mosque at this time.

"This kind of attack on three innocent people is totally unjustified".

According to local media, people were worshipping in the mosque in Ottawa's Old Main Road earlier this afternoon when a group of armed man stormed into the place and slit three persons' throats.

Zev Krengel, the vice-president of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, said the organisation sent its thoughts and prayers to the victims of "this horrific attack" and the South African Muslim community. They then threw a petrol bomb into the building. One of the attack victims jumped from a side window of the smoking building.

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"Incidents of this nature are - on average and without further evidence - more likely to be linked to personal or communal grievances than acts of terror as we understand them", he said. "He was treated by paramedics on the scene and transferred [to a hospital]". "The other two are in critical condition", said Prem Balram, a spokesman for Reaction Unit SA, a private emergency service, who was among the first on the scene. "One knife was left behind", Balram told AFP.

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police also condemned the attack and called it shocking.

"A mosque is a religious institution, and South Africa's constitution guarantees and protects the right to religious practices", its chairman Francois Beukman said.

"It was a sudden attack and at this point we don't have enough information. We want our communities to live in harmony, practising their religions without fear".

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