Man nearly lynched after threatening mosque-goers with bomb – Turkish media

Sabanci mosque in the southern Turkish city of Adana © Yves Herman
A man was almost beaten to death by an angry mob at Sabanci Mosque in southern Turkey after he threatened to detonate a bomb. Police were only able to rescue him from the crowd after firing into the air.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said the incident took place during Friday prayers. The man climbed onto the pulpit during the sermon reading, forced the microphone out of the imam’s hands and shouted: “I have a bomb on me!”

Haberler reports that he then pulled up his shirt revealing a cable dangling over a white corset claimed to have “live bombs” in it. The majority of the congregation moved toward the door, while others walked to the perpetrator and tried to grab him.

Istanbul Haber newspaper states the man was dragged outside and beaten by the angry congregation, until police arrived and started firing into the air to drive the crowd away.

The man was then arrested and brought to the local Adana police headquarters.

Turkish media identified the man as 33-year-old Mahmoud K., a local resident thought to be mentally unstable. Police said his hand-made explosive corset did contain explosive materials, but was not properly prepared to be detonated.

Zaman reports that police had to evacuate people from the mosque, fearing there could still be a bomb there. The newspaper reports, however, that police did not find any explosives within the mosque or in the yard.

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Ambulances were sent to the mosque yard to take care of those injured in a stampede that took place while the crowd of several thousand people was trying to flee the mosque.

An investigation has been launched into the incident.
The general mood in Turkey has been that of fear following the deadly triple suicide bombing in Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport that took the lives of 44 people and left hundreds injured.