Two Muslim men were shot in the head with air rifle pellets in two consecutive days when attending a Mosque in Nelson, Lancaster.
On Sunday, August 16, at 9.30pm, the first victim, a 58 year-old man, was shot in the back of the head in a car park on Nelson Street, as he returned to his car after visiting the mosque. Then on Monday at 7.15pm a similar attack occurred in the same car park when, a second 56 year-old man, was shot in the neck by a pellet as he arrived at the mosque.
The victims went for treatment to hospital, with minor injuries. The doctors were not able to take out the metal shrapnel of the second person because of potential nerve damage.
The second victim has returned home after treatment.
An investigation is underway although there have been no arrests at this point.
Mubashir Ali, a management committee member at the Jamia Masjid Minhaj ul Quran Mosque, told The Muslim News, “People are upset. To be honest with you, it has surprised everyone. General public are a bit more vigilant at the moment. This is normally a peaceful area.”
He added that the Muslims “have never had anything like this before.”
Inspector Dave Clark of Burnley Police said in a statement, “At this stage, the motivation behind these incidents is unclear and we are yet to establish whether the two are linked.”
“We understand these incidents may cause concern in the area and I would like to reassure residents there will be an increased police presence,” he added.