The scene of the crime in Birmingham where a police officer and three others were stabbed in a Mosque
The scene of the crime in Birmingham where a police officer and three others were stabbed in a Mosque

A 32-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after four people including a police constable were stabbed in a Birmingham mosque.

The police officer was called to the mosque on Washwood Heath Road in Ward End on the evening of Saturday 15 June, after reports that three men had been stabbed inside.

The incident began during the final prayer session in the evening.

A man brandishing a knife attacked members of the mosque and people tried to intervene, receiving stab wounds as a result.

Police arrived within four minutes of being called and challenged the knifeman. One of the police officers was carrying a Taser, which was deployed.

However, the Taser had no effect on the individual. In the course of challenging the knifeman, a police officer was stabbed in the chest and stomach but still managed to disarm the assailant despite his injuries.

The police officer is currently undergoing surgery in hospital for his wounds.

An off-duty surgeon who was inside the mosque was able to give first aid treatment to the wounded.

A police spokesman said: "The motivation is unclear and unknown."

The four are being treated in hospital for their injuries and are in a stable condition.

Eyewitnesses report that a man of Somali appearance began attacking worshippers with a machete, according to the BBC. The attacker was not a known member of the Birmingham mosque.

A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said: "Police were called at 11pm on Saturday night to a mosque in Washwood Heath Road, Ward End, to reports of three men with stab wounds.

"Officers arrived at the incident and whilst the man was being detained, one police officer suffered a stab wound.

"The three people and the officer have been taken to hospital, all are currently described as stable."

Officers are investigating whether the attack was a hate crime.

"We don't know at the moment, it's very early stages in the inquiry," the spokeswoman said. "We can't rule anything out at the moment."

Mohammed Shafiq, the leader of national Muslim organisation the Ramadhan Foundation, expressed "deep concern" over the stabbings.

"It is too early to speculate on the circumstances of the stabbings but we must be clear there should be no place for this sort of violence in our country. There will obviously be people who will try to take advantage of this tragedy but we must not allow them to succeed."

According to Shafiq, a nearby resident believed the dispute was a domestic incident between members.

"I have spoken to someone who lives a few doors down from the mosque and they described hearing an argument between some of the people inside the mosque.

"It escalated into violence and a police officer has been stabbed."

A number of Mosques around the country have been attacked since the murder of soldier Lee Rigby near his barracks in Woolwich last month.

The Islamic Somali Community Centre in Muswell Hill, north London, was burnt to the ground while the Grimsby Islamic Cultural Centre was also targeted by arsonists throwing petrol bombs.

Last week, Muslim groups called on the authorities to take serious action against the wave of anti-Islamic attacks.