LONDON: London police said on Friday that they had charged a 29-year-old man in the stabbing of a prayer leader at a mosque in Park Road.
Daniel Horton, charged with section 18 GBH and possession of a bladed article, is due to appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Feb. 22, Police said.
Raafat Maglad, the prayer leader who was stabbed around the top of his shoulder by the attacker, said in a BBC interview that he did not hate his attacker and felt sorry for him.
“I just felt blood flowing from my neck and that’s it, they rushed me to the hospital. Everything happened all of a sudden,” Maglad told BBC.
According to a witness, around 100 worshippers were in the mosque hall at the time of the attack on Thursday and some 20 people jumped on the assailant. “I heard screaming,” said the witness, who declined to give his full name, “and then we saw the blood.”
“The attacker was apprehended by the worshippers until the police arrived and arrested him,” the London Central Mosque Trust said in a statement.
London’s Metropolitan Police said detectives did not believe the incident was terrorism-related.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the incident and said he was deeply saddened to hear of the attack.
“It’s so awful that this should happen, especially in a place of worship. My thoughts are with the victim and all those affected,” Johnson said on Twitter.