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Albanian man with knife wounds five at mosque in Tirana

An Albanian man with a knife attacked and wounded 5 folks Monday at a mosque within the capital, police stated, as investigators tried to find out a motive for the assault.

Rudolf Nikolli, 34, entered the Dine Hoxha mosque in downtown Tirana about 2:30 p.m., a police assertion stated. Police stated they reacted instantly after the assault started and took him into custody. The Prime Channel personal tv station, nonetheless, confirmed civilians blocking Nikolli earlier than the police arrived.

A police investigation has been launched into the case.

The 5 wounded, all males starting from 22 to 35, had been taken to a hospital and police stated their circumstances weren’t life-threatening.

Nikolli’s father, Niko, instructed the Balkanweb on-line media that his son has been depressed since final yr after he wasn’t allowed to go away for Italy and had additionally been contaminated with coronavirus. The alleged attacker’s father is Catholic and his mom is Muslim, and the daddy stated he instructed his son to go to the mosque or a church, no matter he needed.

His father stated his son was transformed to Islam by an imam within the northern city of Burrel, the place he lived. However the father stated his son was typically prevented from coming into mosques by worshippers as a result of they instructed him he was a Christian.

Ahmed Kalaja, imam of the mosque, stated the person attacked worshipers and employees at a time when the mosque was stuffed with believers in the course of the fasting month of Ramadan.

“We hope it was not a terrorist assault,” stated Kalaja.

Albania’s 2.eight million individuals are predominantly Muslim with smaller Christian Catholic and Orthodox communities which have gotten alongside properly with one another.

Prime Catholic Church official in Albania, Angelo Massafra deplored Nikolli’s act and expressed his assist to the wounded.

“We pray to God for all of you, who’re residing the month of Ramadan, for the wounded, on your group and all Albanians in order that peace and goodness reign in our hearts and that such occasions don’t happen any extra,” Massafra stated in a press release to the chief of Albania’s Muslim group, Bujar Spahiu.

Faith in Albania was banned for 23 years below the previous communist regime of Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha, who declared Albania the world’s first atheist state, from 1967 till its fall in 1990. Spiritual authorities of all faiths had been killed, tortured, imprisoned or despatched to labor camps.

Pope Francis made his first go to to a Muslim-dominated nation in 2014 to Albania, calling its interreligious concord an “inspiring instance” for the world.

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