Two killed in knife attack at Portugal Ismaili centre


At least two people were killed and several injured in a knife attack at the Ismaili Center in Lisbon, Portuguese police said.

An unidentified man with a large knife attacked the Shiite Muslim center in Lisbon just before 11 a.m. Tuesday, a police statement said.

The attacker was shot after he refused to put down his weapon and approached officers with the knife.

He was arrested and taken to hospital.

CNN Portugal said the alleged attacker was an Afghan national.

The police did not immediately confirm his nationality.

A number of distressed-looking people stood outside the center in Lisbon amidst a heavily armed police presence and were later ushered into the building.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa said everything pointed to an isolated act and that it was premature to give any interpretation about the crime.

Ismailis are a minority within Shia Islam whose members have been attacked by extremist groups in countries such as Pakistan.

Prince Karim Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the world’s Ismailis, opened the center in Lisbon in 1998, complete with prayer rooms, classrooms, meeting rooms and exhibition spaces.

Portugal’s Ismaili community is one of the largest in continental Europe, numbering thousands, including many who fled Mozambique during the civil war.

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