`

Six arrested and one man charged after disturbance at South Shields mosque

Police on the scene after the disturbance
Police on the scene after the disturbance

Six people have been arrested and one man charged after a disturbance at a mosque in which left two people in hospital.

The incident happened at the Al Azhar mosque in Laygate, South Shields, on Friday August 10.

Norhumbria Police have moved to allay fears of future violence, and a senior officer from the force has addressed worshippers at the religious building.

Police say they are not treating the incident as being racially motivated. They have now confirmed that six men were arrested in relation to the disturbance.

Five have been released on police bail and one has been charged and appeared before magistrates in South Tyneside.

Police say Monir Ahmed, 29, of Marshall Wallis Road, South Shields, denied charges of affray, possession of an offensive weapon, unlawful wounding and criminal damage.

He was released on bail to appear before Newcastle Crown Court on Monday, September 10.

Leaders at the mosque have described the incident as "distressing".

In a statement, the management committee said: “Both the police and the Al Azhar management committee have determined that this incident had no direct connection to the mosque itself.

“Every effort is being made to assemble a full body of facts regarding this incident as soon as possible.

"The Management Committee of Al Azhar Masjid would like to thank those police officers who attended the incident.

“They behaved with great professionalism under very difficult circumstances.

"Finally, the Management Committee of Al Azhar Masjid would like to pay tribute to the selfless behaviour of those who attempted to diffuse the situation."

Police are requesting that witnesses to the disturbance contact them on 101 quoting log 576 10/08/18.