Three people have lost their lives after an attack was carried out in a mosque in Tanzania.
The Tanzania mosque attack has been described by the police as a “terrorist-style attack”, around 15 masked assailants stormed the mosque and used improvised explosives, machetes and axes against the worshipers.
More than a dozen assailants carried machetes and axes, striking the mosque during evening prayers. The mosque, Masjid Rahmani mosque in Mwanza, in the north-west of the country got hit yesterday evening according to police officers.
The BBC’s Sammy Awami in Tanzania reported back to BBC that there are fears over the growing threat of Islamist militancy in the country, which has so far avoided such attacks. Tanzania’s Home Affairs minister Charles Kitwanga also told the BBC, security forces were investigating the possible presence of jihadists in the country.
No group has yet taken responsibility for the killings which occurred days after a video emerged of masked people alleging they were the East African branch of the Islamic State (Isis/Daesh) group.
The people claimed they were in Tanzania’s coastal region of Tanga. The mosque’s imam, Ferouz Ismail Elias was one of the three victims who lost their lives and several others were injured.
Eyewitnesses of the Tanzania mosque attack said that the masked attackers, who were carrying black flags, switched off the lights, before asking worshipers: “Why are you praying while our fellow Muslims are unfairly held by the police?” Police later confirmed that the attackers were unhappy about recent arrests of Muslims in the area.
Of the 15 assailants, the Mwanza Police said that they had arrested three people in connection with the attacks.