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Man sought over Gloucester mosque arson attack


A mosque has been attacked by an arsonist, police said.

A man set light to the door of the building in Gloucester in the early hours of today.

The fire service was called to the scene in Ryecroft Street at around 12.50am after reports of a small fire at the mosque.

Police attended and viewed CCTV which shows a man pouring petrol around the door, then setting a rag on fire and using it to ignite the fuel.

The man returned to a dark car, believed to be a BMW or Mercedes, and was driven away by a second offender.

The door suffered light fire damage and no-one was injured.

The arsonist is described as a white man, of medium or large build, who was wearing a white Puffa jacket with a hood and Adidas tracksuit trousers with white stripes.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Bean, of Gloucestershire Police, who is leading the investigation, said: "We think the man who did this would have been engulfed in flames when he set light to the door.

"This could have resulted in burns to the face and singed eyebrows.

"If you know anyone who returned home last night with those type of injuries and/or smelling of burning, we want to hear from you.

"Anyone who witnessed suspicious activity in the area, recognises the description or with any information should call 101 straight away."

Chief Inspector Richard Burge said: "Gloucester has a wonderfully diverse and welcoming community and I know people will be upset and angry about this.

"In recent weeks I've been buoyed by the fact we haven't seen any of the tensions there have been elsewhere in the country.

"I know now the community will come together, help us with our inquiries and show that it utterly rejects acts like this.

"We'll be increasing community patrols in the area and I'm confident we'll be able to find the offender swiftly."