Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Islamic centre destroyed in ‘arson attack’ in Manchester, UK
An Islamic centre in Manchester has suffered significant damage following a suspected arson attack overnight. Manchester Fire Brigade were called at around 11.40pm yesterday evening and police this morning confirmed they are treating it as suspicious. A spokesman for the centre told the Manchester Evening News that they had received a call to say the building ‘was being attacked’. Emergency services confirmed that the fire at the Manchester Nasfat Islamic Centre on Droylsedon Road was being investigated. Flames appeared to come out of the roof and lit up the sky and surrounding buildings.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘We were called at 11.43pm to Droylsden Road in Newton Heath to reports of a fire. We sent five pumps to the scene and an investigation is now underway.’
The mosque has previously been targeted with two pigs’ heads thrown into the building while people were praying and a minibus was destroyed in an arson attack in 2014. Greater Manchester Police said the fire is being treated as suspicious and a joint investigation has been launched. This afternoon the force confirmed that the offender forced open a window before pouring an accelerant inside. Detective Chief Inspector Paul Walker of GMP’s City of Manchester Borough, said: ‘People are understandably shocked that someone has attacked a place of worship.
‘We are investigating this as a hate crime which has damaged a place of worship used by members of the Nigerian community.
Hate crime is often under reported for a number of reasons, but people should have the confidence in coming forward, as no one should be the subject of hate and intolerance.’
Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 9770 or via Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.