Eng­land mosque blast a ter­ror­ist in­ci­dent, po­lice say

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

LON­DON: Bri­tish po­lice said they were treat­ing a blast out­side a mosque in cen­tral Eng­land yes­ter­day af­ter­noon as a ter­ror­ist in­ci­dent, say­ing nails had re­port­edly been found at the scene.

West Mid­lands po­lice said they were alerted to re­ports of a loud bang in Tipton near Birm­ing­ham shortly af­ter 1pm. No in­juries were re­ported, but the im­me­di­ate area was evac­u­ated.

“An in­ves­ti­ga­tion is be­ing led by the West Mid­lands Coun­tert­er­ror­ism Unit and it is be­ing treated as a ter­ror­ist in­ci­dent,” po­lice said.

“Some res­i­dents have re­ported find­ing de­bris and nails in the area. This is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by foren­sic of­fi­cers at the scene.”

The in­ci­dent came on the same day as the fu­neral of sol­dier Lee Rigby, whose mur­der on a south Lon­don street in May stoked com­mu­nity ten­sions. Two sus­pects, both Bri­tish Mus­lims, face a mur­der trial in Novem­ber.

Since Rigby’s killing, the English De­fence League (EDL), a rightwing group which vo­cif­er­ously op­poses Is­lamism, has staged protests dur­ing which its sup­port­ers chanted slo­gans such as “Mus- lim killers off our streets”.

A mosque was burned down in Lon­don shortly af­ter the killing and “EDL” scrawled on the side of the build­ing, but it was un­clear who caused the fire.

Po­lice have said there has been a rise in the num­ber of at­tacks on Mus­lims since Rigby’s death, de­spite politi­cians and re­li­gious lead­ers ap­peal­ing for calm.

Birm­ing­ham is home to a large Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion and last month a num­ber of men from the city were jailed for plot­ting to at­tack an EDL rally us­ing a home­made nail bomb.

The EDL is plan­ning a rally in Birm­ing­ham next week, de­scrib­ing the city as a hot­bed of Is­lamic ex­trem­ism. – Reuters

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