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UK: Mosque burned to the ground by arsonists

Source:telegraph.co.uk
Author:telegraph.co.uk
Date:29/12-2009
A mosque was burned to the ground by arsonists in an overnight attack.

Published: 11:39AM GMT 28 Dec 2009

Ten fire crews were called to Cradley Heath Mosque and Islamic Centre in Plant Street, Cradley Heathe, near Dudley in the West Midlands, on Boxing Day.

But they could not save the mosque building, which was completely destroyed in the attack. It is the second time the hall has been targeted in recent years.

The Islamic education centre next door was also burned out during the attack at 10.15pm on Boxing Day. Fire crews said the fire was started deliberately and police are now investigating.

Around 400 worshippers regularly use the mosque. Leaders now face a challenge to find a replacement meeting place.

"This is not the first time we have been targeted," said Vasharat Ali, secretary of the mosque and Islamic centre. "There was a similar attack four or five years ago.

"The building is completely destroyed and all the books that we use with the children in the education centre next door have been damaged by the water."