Police officer and three men are stabbed in mosque as man is arrested on suspicion of attempted murder

0
1020

By SAM WEBB
Daily Main Online – UK

Three men and a police officer were stabbed at a mosque in Birmingham last night.

The male police constable was responding to reports that three men had been stabbed inside the Madrasah Qasim ul Uloom mosque in the Ward End area of the city when he was attacked.

The four men are being treated in hospital for their wounds and are described as ‘stable’.
A 32-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and is currently in custody, a police spokeswoman added.

‘Officers arrived at the incident and whilst the man was being detained, one police officer also suffered a stab wound.
‘The three people and the officer have been taken to hospital, all are currently described as stable.’

Officers are conducting patrols in the area in a bid to reassure local people and a cordon is in place while investigations continue, she added.

All three men and the officer were stabbed inside the mosque, the police spokeswoman confirmed.
A man who was praying at the time has claimed 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 the men started arguing.

‘It turned violent quite quickly. Some people tried to get the man to calm down and asked him to leave.

‘But next thing 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.’

West Midlands Police have however refused to rule out any motives yet as they are in the early stages of their investigations.

A spokesman for the force said: ‘It is too early to rule anything out and our officers are at the scene as they investigate four attempted murders.

‘The suspect will remain in custody for questioning.’

Mohammed Shafiq, the leader of national Muslim organisation the Ramadhan Foundation, said: ‘The Ramadhan Foundation expresses its deep concern at the stabbing of three people and a police officer in the Ward End mosque in Birmingham last night.

‘Our immediate thoughts are with the victims injured and their families.

‘It is too early to speculate on the circumstances of the stabbings but we must be clear there should be no place for this sort of violence in our country.

‘There will obviously be people who will try to take advantage of this tragedy but we must not allow them to succeed.’
A nearby resident reported hearing an argument coming from inside the mosque and believes it was a domestic incident between members, Mr Shafiq added.

‘I have spoken to someone who lives a few doors down from the mosque and they described hearing an argument between some of the people inside the mosque,’ he said.

‘It escalated into violence and a police officer has been stabbed.

‘People, anti-Muslim extremists, are going to try to take advantage of this – it’s very serious that a police officer has been stabbed during duty.

‘The aftermath of the brutal murder of Lee Rigby has led to an increase of attacks. The involvement of a police officer in this incident obviously causes more concern.’