A former imam succumbed to his head injuries after being attacked in London’s Rochdale town.
A Muslim organisation has called for calm and unity following the deadly incident.
The ex-prayer leader, identified as Qari Jalaluddin, was believed to be on his way home from prayers at the Jalali Jame mosque when he was attacked in a children’s playground.
Some passers-by found the body of Jalaluddin near the south street of Wardleworth area Thursday evening.
According to the Greater Manchester Police, the man in his later 40s or early 50s had received a serious head injury, leading to death.
Jalaluddin’s death is “shocking and tragic”, said Chief Executive of Ramadhan Foundation Mohammed Shafiq in his reaction on the incident.
“The news that a popular local imam from Rochdale was murdered returning from prayers at a local mosque is shocking and tragic,” he said in a statement.
“Whilst it is too early to speculate about the circumstances of the murder we would urge the community of Rochdale to stay united and calm,” it added.
Shafiq went on to advise all local mosques in the neighbourhood to “consider emergency security precautions and facilities to help local people return home safely from the mosque”.
Meanwhile, the police launched a major investigation into Jalal’s death with a Home Office which conducted the post-mortem on Friday.
“Our investigation is at an early stage but we are keen to hear from anyone who may have been in the area near to where he was found in Wardleworth, as we work to establish how this man came to suffer his head injury,” Detective Superintendent of Serious Crime Division Jon Chadwick said.