The Imam Hussain Mosque near Verulam, Durban, and several nearby residences have been evacuated after a “device resembling a bomb” was found inside the mosque on Sunday evening, according to security company Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa).
“The device connected to a Nokia mobile phone was found under the moulana’s chair. It was moved by a worshipper,” said Rusa head Prem Balram, who posted the information on the company’s WhatsApp media group and Facebook pages at 7.15pm on Sunday.
Balram said Rusa officers were waiting for the bomb disposal unit and sniffer dogs. The Shia mosque is based in Ottawa, a small suburb about 30km north of Durban and a few kilometres from Verulam.
On Thursday, the mosque made national and international headlines after three men dressed in traditional attire and armed with knives gained entry on the pretext of praying. They proceeded to stab moulana Ali Nchinyane and Muhammad Ali.
Abbas Essop, who worked close to the mosque, rushed to the scene to offer assistance. His throat was slit and he later died in hospital. Nchinyane was discharged from hospital but Ali is still hospitalised. Several rooms in the building, including the library, were set alight after a petrol bomb was hurled into the mosque. The suspects then fled in a vehicle. No arrests have been made.
KwaZulu-Natal Hawks spokesman Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo told the African News Agency (ANA) on Sunday night he was unaware of the latest incident when phoned a few minutes after Balram posted the information.
– African News Agency (ANA)