Second man held over Gloucester mosque fire


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The Independent Online

A second man has been arrested by detectives investigating a fire at a mosque.

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

Police attended and viewed CCTV that showed a man pouring petrol around the door of the building before 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.

Officers first arrested a 37-year-old man from Gloucester in connection with the incident.

A 20-year-old man from Cheltenham was arrested yesterday evening on suspicion of arson.

Both men remain in police custody.

The door of the building sustained light fire damage and no one was injured.

Chief inspector for Gloucester Richard Burge, of Gloucestershire Police, appealed for witnesses to come forward.

He 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 over the coming days.”