Leeds & West Yorkshire

Man with knife attempts to enter Beeston mosque

Catherine Grove mosque Image copyright Charles Heslett BBC
Image caption The man was carrying a knife and stick, the mosque secretary said

A man carrying a knife and a stick tried to get into a mosque in Leeds, police said

The man was seen acting suspiciously after going into a butcher's shop on Beeston Road, in the south of the city, at about 13:05 GMT.

He then tried to get into the nearby Abu Huraira Masjid mosque on Catherine Grove but was turned away.

The man walked towards Cross Flatts Park and was arrested. Police said "mental health appears to be a factor".

Mosque secretary Amjad Hussain spoke to the man before calling the police.

"We realised that somebody was acting suspiciously - it didn't look like he was coming to pray," he said.

"So we kind of spoke to him briefly, and at that point I realised that he had a weapon - two weapons, one was a stick and one was a knife

"It was more of a risk assessment than anything else and it was a 999 call and that's our policy within the mosque."

Supt Chris Bowen of West Yorkshire Police said: "We are carrying out inquiries to establish the full circumstances around these incidents but at this stage mental health appears to be a factor.

"We have been liaising with representatives in the community to reassure them following these incidents given the understandable concern it will have caused and we will be keeping them updated."

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