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Back News IHRC In Media Nail bomb explosion at English mosque a "terrorist" incident

Nail bomb explosion at English mosque a "terrorist" incident

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Bomb explosion near mosque treated as terrorist incident.


An explosion reported near a mosque in Tipton, England is being treated as a "terrorist incident", West Midlands Police said.

Counter-terrorism officers have launched an investigation after residents heard a loud bang in Tipton, West Midlands, before nails and other debris were found.

No injuries have been reported but several streets in the Binfield Street area have been sealed off, West Midlands Police said.

A police spokesman said: "Police have been called to Binfield Street in Tipton this afternoon following reports of a loud explosion.

"Officers were called at 1.06pm and are currently at the scene. A cordon has been set up and the immediate area has been evacuated.

"Some residents have reported finding debris in the area and finding nails. This is being investigated by counter terrorism detectives and forensic officers at the scene.

"There are no reports of any injuries to anyone at this time.

"An investigation is being led by the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit and it is being treated as a terrorist incident.

"There are some road closures in place around the Binfield Street area."

The incident came on the day murdered soldier Lee Rigby was remembered at a private funeral service in Bury, Greater Manchester.

Tipton Green councillor Ian Jones said residents in the area described hearing a "loud thud". Councillor Syeda Amina Khatun said she was not aware of any previous attacks on the mosque.

"The explosion has gone off on the disused railway line behind the mosque," she said.

"There are lots of police around so there must be want for them to be here.

"The whole estate has been blocked off. People are surprised that something like this has happened."

The loud bang was reported near the Kanz-ul-Iman Muslim Welfare Association Central Jamia Mosque in Binfield Street, the councillors said.

West Midlands Police are still investigating an explosion near a mosque in the Caldmore area of Walsall on June 21.

The remains of a home-made explosive device were found on June 22 in an alleyway adjoining the Aisha Mosque and Islamic Centre in Rutter Street.

The earlier incident, in which no one was injured, forced the overnight evacuation of around 150 people from their homes in the surrounding area.

Among the road closures in Tipton are parts of Sedgley Road East, Dudley Port, Jays Avenue, Tudor Court, Park Lane East, Crompton Road and Victoria Road.

Dozens of local people who were asked to leave their homes inside the sealed-off area gathered at several cordons along Dudley Port, Tipton, where police were giving out bottles of water to families with young children.

Local resident Rob Abbey, who lives a few hundred yards from the mosque, said the explosion sounded "very, very loud" but he had no idea what it was at the time.

The 35-year-old said: "I was just leaving to go to the park when I heard it.

"I wasn't given any choice about leaving and I'm told it may be up to several hours before we're allowed back."

There was condemnation of the attack from Muslim groups.

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, called on people not to allow terrorism to divide the community.

He said: "I condemn the terrorist attack on the Kanz-ul-Iman Muslim Welfare Association Central Jamia Mosque in Tipton, West Midlands and urge all communities to remain calm and support the police to bring the people responsible to justice.

"Today has been a difficult day for our country with the funeral of Fusilier Lee Rigby taking place in Bury and this attack against Muslims and our mosques.

"Like we will not let terrorism divide us when Lee Rigby was killed, we will not allow these thugs and terrorists to divide Muslims from wider society.

"With Ramadhan happening for the next four weeks I would urge mosques to step up security and report anything suspicious to the police.

"Finally we will not be frightened by these terrorists from whatever background they come from, they will be defeated."

Dozens of local people who were asked to leave their homes inside the sealed-off area gathered at several cordons along Dudley Port, Tipton, where police were giving out bottles of water to families with young children.

Local resident Rob Abbey, who lives a few hundred yards from the mosque, said the explosion sounded "very, very loud" but he had no idea what it was at the time.

The 35-year-old said: "I was just leaving to go to the park when I heard it.

"I wasn't given any choice about leaving and I'm told it may be up to several hours before we're allowed back."

There was condemnation of the attack from Muslim groups.

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, called on people not to allow terrorism to divide the community.

He said: "I condemn the terrorist attack on the Kanz-ul-Iman Muslim Welfare Association Central Jamia Mosque in Tipton, West Midlands and urge all communities to remain calm and support the police to bring the people responsible to justice.

"Today has been a difficult day for our country with the funeral of Fusilier Lee Rigby taking place in Bury and this attack against Muslims and our mosques.

"Like we will not let terrorism divide us when Lee Rigby was killed, we will not allow these thugs and terrorists to divide Muslims from wider society.

"With Ramadhan happening for the next four weeks I would urge mosques to step up security and report anything suspicious to the police.

"Finally we will not be frightened by these terrorists from whatever background they come from, they will be defeated."

In a joint statement, the board of trustees and management committee of the Kanz Ul Iman Masjid mosque said: "We express our deep shock and utter dismay regarding the incident that has occurred this afternoon. We jointly on behalf of the local community condemn this senseless and mindless act. It's a blessing from God that thankfully no-one was injured in the blast.

"We call for calm and strongly urge the community not to let this incident divide us and cause disharmony. We stand united, stand together in the aftermath of this mindless act. We have worked hard to build good community relations and will not allow this incident to divide us or undermine cohesion in the borough.

"We are working closely with the police with their ongoing investigation seeking reassurance to make the scene as safe and secure as soon as possible and track down the perpetrators.

"We ask the media to be sensitive and to deal with this incident prudently and sensibly."

Among the road closures in Tipton are parts of Sedgley Road East, Dudley Port, Jays Avenue, Tudor Court, Park Lane East, Crompton Road and Victoria Road.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said in a statement is was "monitoring unfolding developments in Tipton".

It said: "We urge for calm as the police authorities conduct its investigations.

"We are heartened by the decision by the Metropolitan Police enhanced police presence around Mosques during Ramadan to reassure communities and ensure public safety. We hope this is being done at a national level.

"In the meantime it is important for all communities to come together in solidarity, support and vigilance."

The MCB asked for people to be "vigilant" and report any attacks to police or organisations such as Engage at www.iengage.org.uk/ , Islamic Human Rights Commission at www.ihrc.org.uk/, Tell Mama at www.tellmamauk.org/ , or The Muslim News at www.muslimnews.co.uk.

Read the original story published on 18 July 2013 by Independent.ie

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