A Muslim surgeon has been stabbed in the neck outside a mosque in Manchester in a suspected hate crime.
The victim, a 58-year-old man named locally as surgeon Dr Nasser Kurdy, was taken to hospital after the attack outside the Altrincham Islamic Centre at around 6pm on Sunday evening.
He managed the run into the Islamic Centre to call emergency services.
The man was shaken but not badly hurt and was discharged later the same evening.
Greater Manchester Police said two men, aged 54 and 32, were arrested within an hour over the incident.
They are treating the "very nasty and unprovoked attack" as a "crime motivated by hate", said Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson.
The attack has prompted shock and anger from from Muslim groups and local politicians.
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, said: "I strongly condemn the stabbing of the Imam of the #Altrincham mosque earlier today. The Imam is recovering and an arrest has been made."
Andrew Western, the leader of the Labour group on Trafford Council, tweeted: "Shocked and saddened to hear of stabbing of Dr Nasser Kurdy outside Altrincham mosque. Thoughts with him and his family."
Manchester Central Mosque said in a statement on Facebook the victim is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Wythenshawe Hospital, and occasionally does the sermon at Friday prayers.
They said: "Extremely sad to hear about the dreadful news that has just come in from Altrincham where an Imam has been stabbed in the neck."
Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, said there would be additional police patrols in the area.
“'This is a very nasty and unprovoked attack against a much loved local man. We have made significant progress with the investigation and have arrested two people.
“We consider that these arrests are significant and with the information that we have at this stage, we are not looking for anyone else in relation to this attack
“Peoplewill want to know why the attacker did this and we are treating this as a crimemotivated by hate. It is difficult to say more than this at this time but thereis nothing to suggest that this is terrorist related.
“There will be increased police presence in the area in the coming days to reassure local people.”