South Africa probes extremism element in mosque attack

The Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa’s elite police unit says it’s investigating an “element of extremism” in a mosque attack in which three people’s throats were slit after midday prayers, killing one of them.

Hawks spokesman Simphiwe Mhlongo told The Associated Press that “you can see elements of hatred to a certain religion” in Thursday’s attack in the mosque’s worship space.

But Mhlongo says police can’t yet say whether the assault on the Imam Hussein mosque in the eastern town of Verulam, just north of Durban, can be called a terror attack.

He says police can’t confirm reports that the three attackers were Egyptian. They are still at large.

Mhlongo says the two other victims are still hospitalized.

A mosque representative has blamed “fanatics” and says they plan to go ahead with Friday prayers.