A fire broke out early this morning at a mosque in a residential area in South Africa's coastal city of Durban, in a suspected arson attack, local media report.

The fire has been extinguished and the police explosives unit has arrived at the Masjid-e-Mukhtar mosque in Croftdene, declaring it a crime scene.

Saleem Adam‚ a local Muslim leader‚ told South Africa's Times Live news site that those first at the scene had spotted three men jumping over a wall and fleeing.

In May, at least one man was killed in a knife attack at the mosque in Verulam, a town about 30km (18.6 miles) north of Durban.

In June, two men were killed, also in a knife attack, at a mosque near Cape Town.

The motive for the attacks are unclear.