Saturday, June 15, 2013

Updated: Man Held in UK Mosque Stabbing of Four Including Police Officer

Washwood Heath Muslim Centre, Birmingham UK
Washwood Heath Muslim Centre ~ Google Maps
June 15, 2013 - A quiet residential neighborhood in Birmingham, England was shaken by a multiple stabbing incident Saturday night. The incident seems to have nothing to do with terrorism or hate crimes.

"Four men including a police officer have been taken to hospital after being stabbed in a mosque in Birmingham," reports Sky News tonight. "The officer was stabbed as he arrived at a mosque in Birmingham where three people had been attacked by a knifeman." Sky News says that all four men are hospitalized and a 32-year old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Police tape off Washwood Heath Muslim Centre, 15 June
Photo: Sky News
UPDATE, 16 June: "Two worshippers, a 28-year-old man who suffered multiple stab wounds and a 36-year-old man who suffered a single stab wound to the thigh, were also being treated in hospital," reports The Guardian UK. "Another worshipper suffered a hand injury but did not need hospital treatment. All were given first aid at the scene by police officers and worshippers, who included an off-duty surgeon." The Guardian also reports that attacker's motivation for Saturday's attack are not known, "but there was no evidence it was a hate crime or linked to any other incidents." The Guardian says that the 32-year-old murder suspect "was transferred to a secure mental health facility on Sunday after he was deemed unfit to be interviewed by police."

The mosque is the Washwood Heath Muslim Centre at 790-792 Washwood Heath Road, Ward End, Birmingham, West Midlands. (See map and photo.) Listed at the same address is a school called Madrasah Qasim ul Uloom and a majid called Anwar-ul-Madina.

The West Midlands Police press release said that "Officers arrived at the incident and whilst the suspect was being detained, one police officer also suffered stab wounds. The three men and the male police constable were taken to hospital; all four men are currently described as being in a stable condition and their injuries are not believed to be life threatening. The man was arrested at the mosque on suspicion of attempt murder and is currently in custody. Officers are conducting patrols in the area in a bid to reassure local people and a cordon is in place whilst investigations continue at this time."

Ward End is an area of Birmingham, England. It covers the area between Saltley, Hodge Hill and Stechford and includes Ward End Park, according to Wikipedia, which also notes that "there are a large number of mosques, located on Ward End, Washwood Heath, Hodge Hill and Alum Rock Road or nearby." The UK Mosque Searcher lists nine mosques in Ward End.