Imam dead in mosque arson in Belgium: Police

Imam dead in mosque arson in Belgium: Police 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.