Armed attackers struck a mosque outside the South African city of Durban on Thursday, stabbing to death an imam and injuring two others.
Three men entered the mosque after midday prayers, carrying guns and attacking the victims with knives and then releasing a petrol bomb that set the building on fire.
Police said the attackers remained at large after escaping in a Hyundai car from the Imam Hussain mosque in Verulam town, on the outskirts of the eastern port city.
“The motive of the attack is unknown at this stage. Verulam police are investigating three counts of attempted murder and arson,” a police spokeswoman told.
The incident appeared to be unprecedented in South Africa, where about 1.5 percent of the country’s 55 million population is Muslim.
Paul Herbst, the spokesman for the private IPSS medical rescue service, said that the imam had his throat cut and passed away a few hours after the attack.