Mosque attacked by arsonists in Oldham in suspected revenge attack for Manchester bombing

Muslim leaders widely condemned the explosion at the concert which killed 22 people

Rachael Revesz
Tuesday 23 May 2017 17:02 BST
Police confirmed the fire took place five hours after a bomb exploded at the concert
Police confirmed the fire took place five hours after a bomb exploded at the concert (Office of Debbie Abrahams)

A mosque in Manchester was reportedly attacked just hours after a man detonated a bomb at an Ariana Grande concert which killed 22 people.

The door of the Jamia Qasmia Zahidia Islamic Centre in Oldham, Greater Manchester, was set alight and badly damaged.

“At around 2.55am on Tuesday 23 May police were called to reports of an arson attack in Oldham,” a police spokeswoman told The Independent.

“No one was injured and enquires are on-going.”

At Victoria Park mosque in Manchester, where imams from across the city gathered to pray for the victims of the concert blast, an imam confirmed that there had been a suspected arson attack in Oldham later that night, as reported by Buzzfeed News.

A spokesperson at the mosque on Villa Road in Oldham could not be immediately contacted by The Independent.

The imam, Mohammad Saddiq, told The Daily Mail that a member of the public called the fire brigade and nobody was inside the building at the time.

"We have no idea why somebody would target us. We are a religious and educational centre. I've been involved her for three years and never dealt with anything like this,” he said.

Mr Saddiq added that police were looking at CCTV and a new door would be needed.

“There's a possibility that it's retaliation to what happened in Manchester last night but we can't confirm that," he added.

According to Saddleworth News, Labour MP Debbie Abrahams condemned the suspected arson attack.

The attacker at the Ariana Grande concert blew himself up in the attack on Monday night, which killed 22 people. Scores more were injured, including children.

Police have identified the bomber as British man Salman Abedi. Isis claimed responsibility for the attack but the police have not said if Abedi had links to extremism.

Muslim taxi drivers were praised for offering victims and other concert-goers free lifts home after the explosion, directing passengers to safe places to be picked up, as well as offering water and helping to charge their mobile phones.

The attack – the largest to hit the UK since the Tube bombings in London 12 years ago – has been widely condemned by British Muslim leaders, including the Muslim Council of Britain and Manchester’s Ramadhan Foundation.

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