Murder investigation launched after stabbing caused police to search mosque

A murder investigation has been launched into a fatal stabbing that led armed police to seal off a mosque as they hunted for suspects, Scotland Yard said.

Detectives announced on Friday that the attack, which took place in Elmton Court, Cunningham Place, north-west London, at about 6.15pm on Thursday, is being treated as murder.

After the stabbing of the man, believed to be in his early 20s, the suspects are thought to have run towards Regent’s Park and London Central Mosque.

The victim later died in hospital and no arrests have been made.

Commander Simon Rose of the Metropolitan Police said: “A man has lost his life in violent circumstances and we are working to identify the perpetrators as quickly as possible.

“Officers remain in the vicinity speaking to local people who have been affected by the incident and the emergency services’ response.”

Armed officers could be seen searching stairwells and the surrounding area of the mosque on Thursday night.

Their presence gave witness Bahir Moulana the “jitters” in the wake of the recent attack at two mosques in New Zealand.

Cunningham Place stabbing
Cunningham Place stabbing

The incident is not thought to be terror-related, Mr Rose said, adding: “People can expect to see local officers out and about today and I would encourage anyone with worries or concerns to speak to them.”

A statement issued by the mosque confirmed that all staff and worshippers are safe and “we look forward to seeing you all at Friday prayers”.

Officers are working to inform the victim’s next of kin and a post-mortem examination and formal identification have not yet taken place.