LONDON – Three men and a police officer were stabbed at a mosque in Birmingham on Saturday night. The police constable was responding to a call that three men had been stabbed inside the Madrasah Qasimul Uloom mosque, located at the Washwood Heath area of the city.
Reports suggest an argument may have broken out between members inside the building prior to the attack. The three people and the officer were taken to a hospital where all are reported to be stable.
A 32-year-old man, believed to be of Somali origin, has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and is currently in custody.
A man who was praying at the time told media that the suspect, who regularly attended the mosque, was involved in a heated argument moments before the attack. The eye-witness, who asked not to be named, said, “The man, who is from Somalia, had been at the mosque for the last prayer of the day before men started arguing. It turned violent quite quickly. Some people tried to get the man to calm down and asked him to leave. But the next moment he had stabbed the three men and everybody just panicked – it was an extremely scary thing to witness. This is a place of worship and respect, not a battlefield.”
A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said, “Police were called at 11pm on Saturday night to a mosque in Washwood Heath Road, Ward End, to reports of three men with stab wounds. Officers arrived at the incident and whilst the man was being detained, one police officer also suffered a stab wound.”
All three men and the officer were stabbed inside the mosque, the police spokeswoman confirmed. Officers were investigating whether the attack was a hate crime. “We don’t know at the moment, it’s very early stages in the inquiry,” the spokeswoman said.