Blast damages Muslim school in southern Netherlands

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The Independent Online

A suspected bomb blew the front door off a Muslim school in a southern Dutch town overnight and shattered windows across the street, days after a suspected Muslim radical killed a Dutch filmmaker, police said today.

A suspected bomb blew the front door off a Muslim school in a southern Dutch town overnight and shattered windows across the street, days after a suspected Muslim radical killed a Dutch filmmaker, police said today.

No one was reported injured in the 3.30am attack on the primary school, which was empty.

Police suspected it was a retaliation for last week's murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a suspected Islamic radical, said spokesman Cees Dekkers in Eindhoven, about 120 kilometres south of Amsterdam.

The Tarieq Ibnu Zyad Islamic school sustained substantial damage inside, he said.

The school is run by the Islam Center al–Fourqaan foundation, which oversees Eindhoven's al–Fourqaan mosque. The mosque was frequented by two Muslim youths killed in Kashmir in an alleged suicide attack on Indian troops. The school also suffered a minor attack a year ago.

Eindhoven Mayor Alexander Sakkers was meeting later today with parents of students.

"It is essential that we stick together," he told journalists. "One single person who pulls off such an idiot act" should not affect Dutch society.

"Eindhoven is shocked, very shocked, by a cowardly deed in the middle of the night, when normal citizens are sleeping," he said.

Sakkers said police would be guarding Islamic sites, while investigators determine the cause of the blast.

Internal Ministry spokesman Frank Wassenaar said the government had spoken to local authorities about whether more security was needed following Van Gogh's slaying, but said "there is no indication that local police cannot deal with this themselves."

Van Gogh's killing last Tuesday shocked the Netherlands, and sparked several other attacks including two weekend attempts to burn down mosques. Dutch Interior Minister Johan Remkes has said the killing should not be blamed on the Muslim community.

Ten suspected Islamic extremists have been arrested in connection with the murder of Van Gogh, who in August released a film, "Submission," critical of how women are treated under Islam. Two suspects have been released.

Among those arrested was Mohammed Bouyeri, 26, suspected of killing the filmmaker and having links to a terrorist group, police said.

Mainstream Muslim groups condemned the killing, but nevertheless have been the target of anger in the Netherlands.

Vandals threw red paint Saturday night on a social centre that helps Muslim immigrants in Amsterdam.

In the town of Huizen, police arrested two men they said were caught preparing to ignite a fire at the An–Nasr mosque on Friday night, national news service NOS reported. A mosque in Breda sustained minor fire damage in another reported arson attempt.

Earlier this week, a small fire was set at a mosque in Utrecht, and a pig's head was left in a plastic bag outside a mosque in Amsterdam.

Van Gogh, a distant relative of the famous painter Vincent van Gogh, was shot while riding his bicycle and then stabbed. His throat was cut, and a five–page letter quoting from the Quran and threatening attacks on Dutch politicians was left on his body.

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