Imam Hussein Mosque File picture: Netcare

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

The bomb squad entered the mosque, which earlier this week was the scene of a gruesome attack that left one man dead and two others injured.

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 temporarily.

 A metro police official said a suspicious device was found and detectives were inside the mosque.

According to security company Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa), the device connected to a Nokia mobile phone was found under the moulana’s chair. 

"It was moved by a worshipper,” said Rusa head Prem Balram, who posted the information on the company’s WhatsApp media group and Facebook pages at 7.15pm on Sunday.

There has been no official comment from the SAPS.

The bomb squad has entered the mosque where the #MosqueAttack happened. Police have asked people to move further away from the mosque and residents on the street said they were asked to evacuate their homes temporarily @SundayTribuneSA @IOL pic.twitter.com/agAvKHfYtv

Ottawa is a small suburb about 30 kilometres north of Durban and a few kilometres from Verulam.

It is believed that three men, suspected of being foreign nationals, entered the Imam Hussain mosque after prayers on Thursday claiming they wanted to pray and then proceeded to attack and stab Moulana Ali Nchinyane and Muhammad Ali.

Abbas Essop, who worked close to the mosque, rushed to the scene to offer assistance. His throat was slit and he later died in hospital. 

Several rooms in the building, including the library, were set alight after a petrol bomb was hurled into the mosque. The suspects then fled in a vehicle.

Earlier on Sunday Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the mosque.

This is a developing story. Follow our reporter on the scene @Karinda_J on Twitter.