Police: Albanian wounded with knife 5 at Tirana mosque
By LLAZAR SEMINI
TIRANA, Albania (AP) – An Albanian armed with a knife attacked five people in a mosque in the capital Tirana on Monday, police said.
According to a police statement, Rudolf Nikolli, 34, entered the Dine Hoxha Mosque in downtown Tirana around 2:30 p.m. and injured five people with a knife. Police said they reacted immediately and took him into custody.
The private Top Channel TV station, however, showed civilians blocking Nikolli before the police arrived.
The five injured, all men between the ages of 22 and 35, were taken to hospital and police said they were not in life-threatening situations.
Police have not disclosed any motive for the attack. They and the prosecutors are investigating the case.
Ahmed Kalaja, the mosque’s imam, said the gunman attacked worshipers and staff at a time when the mosque was filled with believers during the fasting month of Ramadan.
“We hope it was not a terrorist attack,” Kalaja said, adding that the five wounded believers were praying when Nikolli attacked them. He said others may have been injured as well, it was not yet clear.
Albania’s 2.8 million people are predominantly Muslim with smaller Catholic and Orthodox Christian communities getting along well.
Police said Nikolli was from the northern town of Burrel and his religious background was not yet clear.