Portuguese police shot a man suspected of stabbing two women to death at an Ismaili Muslim center in Lisbon, authorities said Tuesday. The women were Portuguese staff members at the center, Ismaili community leader Narzim Ahmad told Portuguese TV channel S.I.C. Police were called to the center late Tuesday morning where they encountered a suspect “armed with a large knife,” a police statement said.
Police ordered him to surrender but he advanced toward them and was “neutralized,” the statement said. The suspect was taken to a Lisbon hospital where he was in police custody. Several other people were wounded, according to the statement, but it provided no further details.
Prime Minister António Costa said police shot the suspect and told reporters the attack was “a criminal act.” “Everything points to this being an isolated incident,” Costa said, without elaborating. There was no immediate word on the identity of those killed.
Armed police from a special operations unit could be seen forming a perimeter outside the building. Costa said police were investigating the attack and it was too soon to speculate about a motive. The Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, generally known as the Ismailis, belong to the Shia branch of Islam, according to their website. The Ismaili Muslims are a culturally diverse community living in more than 25 countries around the world, it says.
Portugal hasn’t recorded any significant terror attacks in recent decades, and religious violence is virtually unheard of.
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