Two women stabbed to death at the Ismaili Muslim centre in Lisbon

The attack took place at the Ismaili Centre on Avenida Lusíada. The attacker, carrying a large knife, was shot in the leg by police, then detained and taken to hospital.

Officers asked the suspect to stop the attack, but he disobeyed and was shot.

The attacker is believed to be Afghan and the two victims were Portuguese women – one was the attacker’s English teacher at the centre and the other a fellow classmate, according to Portuguese media.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa said it appeared to be “an isolated act” and discussing a possible motive was “premature”. This was echoed by home affairs minister Jose Luis Carneiro, who said “the circumstances and motivations” of the attack were being investigated. He said the alleged attacker was a “relatively young man” with three young children and his wife had died in a refugee camp in Greece. Carneiro said the man often visited the centre to to study Portuguese, collect food donations and for childcare. He added that the victims worked at the centre’s refugee support programme.

The president of the Afghan community Association, Omed Taeri, said the attacker arrived in Portugal “a year or so ago” and was being aided by the Ismaili centre.

Ismailis are a minority branch of Shia Islam. Its members recognise Prince Karim Aga Khan as their spiritual leader. The Ismaili community in Portugal is one of the largest in continental Europe, numbering thousands, including many who fled Mozambique during its civil war.

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