May 30, 2023

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Two killed in stabbing attack at Ismaili center in Lisbon

Police said the suspect was shot dead by law enforcement officers and arrested.

A knife-wielding man killed at least two people and injured several others in Lisbon, Portugal on Tuesday (March 28). The attack targeted the world headquarters of the Ismailis, a Shia Muslim community led by the Aga Khan.

“The attack injured many, momentarily, two died”, Police said in a statement that the alleged attacker was arrested after being shot and wounded by law enforcement. Accused A “a big knife” He was also admitted to a hospital in the Portuguese capital, officials added. He is one “Alive and in custody”Police said.

“An isolated act” is mentioned

“We know it was an Afghan, a refugee, who actually got into the center, for one reason or another.”Nazim Ahmed, head of Lisbon’s Ismaili community, testified on Portuguese private television SIC. “We know that two people have died, two women (…) employees of the center”he added.

“My solidarity and condolences to the victims and the Ismaili community.”Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa responded to the press, he said “It is premature to make any explanation as to the motivations of this criminal act”.

So the hypothesis of a terrorist attack mentioned by the local media is not confirmed at this stage.“The first elements point to an isolated action”, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said in a press release.

Ismail was targeted

The attack took place near the Ismaili center in Lisbon. This community of Shia Ismaili Muslims has established its world headquarters in Lisbon and its spiritual leader, the Aga Khan, received Portuguese citizenship in 2019. The Ismailis, a minority sect of Shia Islam, form a community of 15 million people spread over thirty countries. There are about 7,000 members in Portugal.

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Attacks against Ismailis have multiplied in recent years, particularly in Pakistan, where Sunni extremists accuse them of harboring a “deviant” current over Muslim orthodoxy.