A gunman who opened fire at a mosque outside Oslo, Norway, was thwarted by a 65-year-old congregant who put him in a chokehold preventing a new massacre.

The shooting occurred Saturday, August 10, at the al-Noor Islamic Centre near the Norwegian capital when the shooter, a white-male in his 20s, burst through a glass door just after 4 p.m. and started firing, as reported by Oslo police official Rune Skjold. Retired Pakistani Air Force officer Mohammad Rafiq, 65, approached the attacker first, the mosque said. Rafiq told Reuters that:

“I suddenly heard shooting from outside…He started to fire towards the two other men.” 

To this he added that he then grabbed the attacker, holding him down and wrestling the weapons off the attacker while he stuck his finger in Rafiq’s eye. Another man ran up to help. 

According to The Independent, Mosque board member Irfan Mushtaq told TV2 that:

“The man carried two shotgun-like weapons and a pistol. He broke through a glass door and fired shots.” 

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Rafiq suffered minor injuries. He is being hailed as a hero for stopping a possible massacre like that in Christchurch and El Paso. Skjold told BBC News:

“There is no doubt that the swift and firm response from the persons inside the mosque stopped the aggressor and prevented further consequences.” 

He also said:

“We’re investigating this as an attempt at carrying out an act of terrorism.” 

Prime Minister Erna Solberg expressed her sympathy with the mosque worshippers. Adding that it was too early to speculate on a motive, she said in a statement:

“It should be safe to go to the mosque, church, or other worship places.” 

According to the Police, the attacker, who has not been named, was also suspected of killing one of his own family members, a young woman who was found dead at his home. You can view the video HERE.

May Allah (SWT) keep all the Muslims across the world safe. Ameen. 

Source: Reuters

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Rida Ghaffar