'Hero' police officer stabbed at mosque is discharged from hospital


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The Independent Online

The police officer heralded a hero after being stabbed in the chest and stomach while he disarmed a knife-wielding attacker at a mosque is to be discharged from hospital.

The 31-year-old officer was brutally attacked when he responded to an incident in Birmingham where a man who had brandished a knife was shouting "don't mock Islam" and attacking worshippers.

Three people had already been stabbed by the time he arrived, at which time he confronted a man believed to be of Somali descent who was wielding a large combat knife.

The officer then fired a Taser, which proved ineffective, and suffered two blows to the body that bypassed his stab-proof vest. He and a colleague were still able to apprehend and wrestle the assailant to the floor before being rushed to hospital to undergo surgery to repair the injuries.

The alleged attacker was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and remains at a secure mental health unit after doctors deemed him unfit to be interviewed, West Midlands Police have confirmed.

Commenting on an official West Midlands Police Twitter account, the unidentified injured officer said: "Consultant has been in to see me this morning. Op went great. Will be discharged later today." In the comment posted in the early hours of this morning, he also thanked medics and people at the mosque for their help during the incident last weekend, adding: "It means a lot to know the community has our backs."

Chief Superintendent Alex Murray, speaking yesterday, said there was nothing to suggest the incident was a hate crime, or that it was connected with other similar incidents in the wake of Drummer Lee Rigby's death in Woolwich, south east London.

"I'd like to thank the brave officers for their heroic actions, as well as the people inside the mosque who acted extremely bravely despite being in substantial danger," he said.

"There were people inside the mosque who needed help, police needed to act even though a dangerous individual was inside. As the male officer approached the suspect he deployed his taser, but it had no effect.

"The suspect then stabbed the officer in the chest and in the stomach, despite his injuries the officer and his female colleague wrestled the man to the ground, restrained him and made an arrest."

A 28-year-old man stabbed in the arm during the attack and a 36-year-old man who was stabbed once in the thigh remain in hospital in a stable condition, while a third man who suffered a hand injury is recovering at home.