Handsworth man killed in fatal stabbing outside Coventry mosque

Two men have been arrested for murder after the death of Haji Rab Nawaz from Handsworth

A man stabbed to death outside a mosque in Coventry has been named as Haji Rab Nawaz from Handsworth.

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the fatal stabbing outside the Jamiah Masjid & Institute at the junction of Durbar Avenue and Queen Mary’s Road. The incident happened at just after 9pm on Sunday, West Midlands Police said.

The force had received reports of a fight “involving a large group of men, some armed with knives”, outside the building. Two people were found at the scene with stab injuries, including the 52-year-old man who died a short time later.

A 56-year-old man was arrested by armed officers nearby a short time later, and a 27-year-old was arrested in the early hours of Monday. Both are being questioned on suspicion of murder.

Police at the scene at Queen Mary's Road in Coventry after a 52-year-old man was stabbed to death during a mass knife brawl outside a mosque.

Victim named as Haji Rab Nawaz

Mohammed Qadri, head Imam at the Masjid, published a statement on his Facebook page, naming the victim as Haji Rab Nawaz from Handsworth.

He condemed the violence, and said it was an isolated incident which had nothing to do with the mosque and was ‘not related to any religious or communal tensions’.

He wrote: “I speak on behalf of the Mosque & local community who severely condemn this vile, dispicable & callous act. Life of any individual is precious and sacred, For it to be lost in a moment in such a savage and brutal way is devastating.

“I request the local community to allow the police to carry out their investigation with ease and any person who may have witnessed the attack is urged to come forward.”

Police at the scene at Queen Mary’s Road in Coventry after a 52-year-old man was stabbed to death during a mass knife brawl outside a mosque.

What has West Midlands Police said?

Detective Superintendent Shaun Edwards, of West Midlands Police, said: “We’re supporting the family of the man who has died at what is a truly awful time for them, and our thoughts go out to them.

“We’ve made some really good early progress in this investigation, but there is still a lot of work to do be done in identifying all of those involved in what happened last night.

Police at the scene

“We don’t believe this is linked to any other incidents or disputes either in Coventry or the wider West Midlands and it appears to have been an isolated dispute which has ended in tragedy.”

He added that the force would work “flat out” to bring those responsible to justice. Officers have been speaking to residents and community leaders to offer reassurance.

A message from the editor: Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.