Islamic centre destroyed in 'arson attack' in Manchester

The exact cause of the fire is yet unknown but fire investigators are expected to start work on the scene today

The exact cause of the fire is yet unknown but fire investigators are expected to start work on the scene today

A mosque in the British city of Manchester has been severely damaged in a suspected arson attack, police said on Monday.

Dale Corrigan, who lives opposite the mosque, told the Manchester Evening News: "It spread really quickly, it started on the right-hand side of the building and went to the roof and there was really thick black smoke".

Nasfat (Nasrul-Lahi-l-Fathi Society of Nigeria) opened up in Manchester as a mosque and Islamic centre in 2009 and it has about 300 members.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) could not confirm if the fire was being treated as a hate crime.

A spokesman for the centre said there was no one inside at the time, and that they received a call in the night to say "it was being attacked".

The emergency services were called around 11:40pm. Around 30 firefighters worked to put the inferno out.

Monsurat Adebanjo-Aremu, secretary of the centre, said people have urinated outside and two pigs' heads were once thrown into the mosque during worship. The building was the target of an arson attack three years ago.

Greater Manchester Fire Rescue Service confirmed they were called around 11:40pm to Droylsden Road where the centre is situated.

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