Imam dead in mosque arson in Belgium: Police

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 12:29

Brussels: A man set fire to a mosque in
Brussels, killing its 47-year-old imam and injuring another person, in an arson attack that destroyed a large part of the
building, police said.

Police officials at the scene "confirmed it was the imam"
who died when a firebomb was thrown into the Shiite mosque
yesterday, police spokeswoman Marie Verbeke said.

The imam, who succumbed to the fumes in the burnt-out place of worship, was with a second person, who was lightly injured, at the time of the attack.

"A suspect was taken into custody at the scene," Verbeke added.

A witness saw the suspect, a man, set fire to the
building, Verbeke said, but no other details were immediately
available.

Anderlecht Mayor Vincent Van Goidsenhoven said the
suspect threw a Molotov cocktail at the mosque, Belga news
agency reported.

"The mosque was apparently almost entirely burned down,"
Verbeke said.

Belgian public broadcasters RTBF and a stream of Twitter
users said that a group of at least 50 people had gathered
outside the Shiite mosque.

Police said they received a call at 6:45 pm and the body
was pulled out 45 minutes later.

The area around the mosque, near Belgium`s main
international railway hub, has a large immigrant Muslim
population.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 12:29

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