The Hawks have confirmed that a suspicious device believed to be a bomb was found at the Imam Hussein Mosque, the scene of a gruesome attack on Thursday.
Durban - The Hawks confirmed on Sunday night that a suspicious device believed to be a bomb was found at the Imam Hussein Mosque in Ottawa, Verulam.

Hawks spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo confirmed with media at the scene after speaking with the bomb squad who were inside the mosque.

“We can confirm the explosive unit has found a device and are also scanning the area,” he said.

Mhlongo added it was strange that the finding comes after Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the mosque earlier on Sunday and the scene was cleared before his visit.

“It is so strange that this device was found after the mosque was cleared on Friday. We are asking ourselves what the device is and how did it get here. We will continue to combat prevent and investigate crime,” he said.

The apparent bomb alert comes in the wake of a gruesome attack by three armed suspects that led to the death of Abbas Essop, 35.

Two others, including a moulana, were injured.

At 7pm on Sunday evening worshippers at the Imam Hussein Mosque found a pipe linked to a Nokia found, and threw it out of the mosque.

The device was found under the moulana’s chair.

The device was marked “suspicious” by Reaction Unit South Africa’s Prem Balram, and authorities including SAPS and Metro converged on the scene while residents were quickly evacuated.

Hawks Capt Simphiwe Mhlongo confirmed a suspicious device was found at the Mosque this evening.
“It’s strange that this comes after the Police Minister visited the scene, and the area was cleared on Friday” he said.#MosqueBomb #MosqueAttack @SundayTribuneSA @IOL @TheMercurySA

Watch: Prem Balram of RUSA says the “suspicious device” believed to be a #mosquebomb was found under the Moulana’s chair in the wake of the @SAPoliceService Min Bheki Cele visit to the area#MosqueAttack @SundayTribuneSA @IOL @TheMercurySA

A bomb squad member walks towards the Imam Hussein Mosque where a #mosquebomb has allegedly been found @SundayTribuneSA @IOL @TheMercurySA the bomb squad have been inside the building for over an hour now #MosqueAttack

The area around the Imam Hussein Mosque in Ottawa near Verulam was cordoned off on Sunday night after the suspicious device was found inside.

Police asked the crowd gathered at the scene on Sunday to move further away from the mosque and residents on the street said they were asked to evacuate their homes.

Members of the bomb squad were inside the mosque with sniffer dogs for more than two hours.

The bomb squad are apparently using a specialised X-ray machine to scan the device.

Sunday Tribune