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Mosque attack in South Africa condemned

CAPE TOWN (CNS): South Africa’s bishops condemned an attack on a mosque in Verulam, around 32 kilometres north of Durban, in which a man was killed and another two injured.
A mechanic, Abbas Mohamedelo Essop, died after his throat was cut in the May 10 attack on the mosque in which thee men armed with guns and knives set the mosque alight.
“We strongly condemn this bloody and futile attack and call upon law enforcement agencies to work diligently to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town, president of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said in a May 11 statement.
“Religious tolerance has long been a characteristic of South African society and those who wish to wreak havoc, and set one faith community against another, must never be allowed to succeed,” he said.
Christians and Muslims “live peacefully side by side” in the Archdiocese of Durban, said Father Brett Williams, archdiocesan chancellor and parish priest of St. Joseph’s Church.
Emmanuel Cathedral and Jumma Masjid mosque are neighbours in central Durban and their members work together, serving the city’s poor in the Denis Hurley Centre, which is positioned between them, Father Williams said in a May 11 telephone interview. The centre is named after the city’s former Catholic archbishop.
“We are deeply saddened by this attack,” Father Williams said, noting that “there is a strong bond” among people of different faiths in Durban. 
Witnesses to the Durban crime said the attackers were Egyptian.
“On assessing the crime scene, it was found there was an element of extremism to it,” said Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo, a crime investigation spokesperson.

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