A respected surgeon has been released from hospital after being stabbed outside Altrincham Islamic Centre yesterday.
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Nasser Kurdy, who is the mosque’s imam, was stabbed in the neck shortly before 5.50pm as he was arriving for evening prayers.
Police have since arrested two men, aged 54 and 32, in connection with the attack and described it as a “very nasty and unprovoked attack against a much-loved local man”.
Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson added: “We consider that these arrests are significant and with the information that we have at this stage, we are not looking for anyone else in relation to this attack.
“People will want to know why the attacker did this and we are treating this as a crime motivated by hate. It is difficult to say more than this at this time but there is nothing to suggest that this is terrorist related.
“There will be increased police presence in the area in the coming days to reassure local people.”
Meanwhile, the community has spoken of its shock at the attack.
Writing on the Altrincham Today Facebook page, Rosemary Wakefield said: “I am just appalled by this terrible attack on this good man who spends his life helping others. I shall never understand the total ignorance of anyone who would do this while harbouring such hatred.”
Sara Guilfoyle wrote: “An orthopaedic surgeon that has probably saved countless lives, attacked in this way, I’m sickened, my thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”
Graham Robertson added: “This is awful. As a young boy, many years ago, I went to Sunday school there, when it was St. David’s church. It is still a place of worship and for this to happen in such a quiet area is beyond belief. I wish Mr Kurdy a full and speedy recovery, and a long time inside for the offenders.”
And George Lane wrote that Altrincham had “the best inter-faith /inter religious relationships of any community in which I’ve lived”.
Many of Dr Kurdy’s former patients also left messages of support, with Jason Warren writing: “this genius man saved my ankles, I’m in shock….. disgusting!!!!”
A number of others added that he was a “lovely man”.
Sean Anstee, leader of Trafford Council, said he was “shocked and saddened by this senseless and cowardly attack”.
“The local community are understandably shocked and concerned by this attack, which happened in an area known for its good community relations and is generally considered very safe,” he added.
“I would like to reassure people of our ongoing discussions and continued work with police, community and religious leaders to review and improve safety in our borough. My thoughts are with Dr Kurdy and his family and we wish him a full and speedy recovery.”
Police said that while he was “clearly shook up” by the incident, the victim had now been discharged from hospital.
They’ve asked for anyone who witnessed the incident or saw anyone hanging around Grove Lane at this time to contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 quoting reference number 1646 of 24/09/17 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.