A doctor has been stabbed in the back of the neck on his way to a mosque in Greater Manchester, in a suspected hate crime.
Consultant surgeon Dr Nasser Kurdy was attacked outside the Altrincham and Hale Muslim Association at about 17:50 BST and was taken to hospital.
He has since been discharged and a 54-year-old man and a 32-year-old who were arrested are being questioned.
Greater Manchester Police have asked for any witnesses to come forward.
Dr Kurdy heard Islamophobic comments at the time of the attack, community sources said.
Police said the 58-year-old was on his way to the mosque, where he is the vice-chairman and has led prayers, when he saw another man across the road.
“A short time later he felt an injury to the back of his neck. He ran into the centre and then called emergency services.”
Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said it was a “nasty and unprovoked attack” to a “much-loved” man.
Dr Khalid Anis, a spokesman for the mosque, said: “It could have been very, very serious.
“He [Dr Kurdy] said he noticed someone cross the road and then somebody just attacked him from behind.
“Obviously he was in shock at the time, he had just been stabbed, so the detail of those comments I don’t know – but there were definitely abusive comments made by the attackers at the door of the mosque.
“We understand it was a knife, he is very lucky.
“It’s a very unified town so for this to happen like this in the street, it is frightening.”
Dr Anis added that Dr Kurdy is “in good spirits”.
Akram Malik, chairman of the Altrincham and Hale Muslim Association, added: “It is devastating that someone has chosen to attack a community member, on his way to prayer.
“We pray that Dr Kurdy makes a full recovery and the perpetrator faces the full force of justice.”
Iftikhar Awan, who attends the mosque with his wife and children, said the community was “in a state of shock”.
He added that Dr Kurdy was treated in Wythenshawe Hospital, where he works as an orthopaedic surgeon.
Det Insp Ben Cottam said Dr Kurdy was attacked “in broad daylight”.
ACC Jackson added: “People will want to know why the attacker did this and we are treating this as a crime motivated by hate.
“It is difficult to say more than this at this time but there is nothing to suggest that this is terrorist related.”
He said there would be an increased police presence in the areas to “reassure local people”.
The Muslim Council of Britain said it was shocked by the attack and urged the government to implement its “hate crime action plan”.