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Mosque and Sikh temple set on fire in arson attacks on same night

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Mosque and Sikh temple set on fire in arson attacks on same night

The damaged caused by the arson attack on the Sikh Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara in Leeds, West Yorks (Picture: SWNS)

A man has been arrested after the entrances to a Gurdwara and mosque were set on fire in Leeds on Tuesday.

Police were called to the Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque in Beeston, south of the city centre, where the main door had been set on fire at about 3.45am on Tuesday.

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A few minutes later, the door of the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara was also set on fire in nearby Lady Pit Lane.

It is believed a bottle filled with petrol was set alight at the doorstep of both buildings, triggering the smoke alarm.

Part of the door and a pillar was damaged but the fires were quickly contained.

Beeston Central Mosque (Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque) in Leeds, West Yorks., was targeted in an arson attack alonside nearby Sikh Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara, June 06 2018. See Ross Parry story RPYFIRE: Two arson attacks on a Sikh temple and Muslim mosque in the early hours of today (Tues) are being investigated by police as possible "hate crimes". The front doorways of the religious buildings were deliberately set on fire during the "specifically targeted" attacks in the early hours, police said. It is believed flammable liquid had been used to start the fires at the Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque and Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara in Beeston in Leeds, West Yorks. West Yorkshire Police said the attacks were being linked and they are now appealing to the public for further information.

The main door at the Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque in Beeston, was set on fire at about 3.45am on Tuesday. (Picture: SWNS)

The incidents are being treated as hate crimes.

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A 42-year-old has since been arrested at an address in Leeds on suspicion of arson in relation to the fires.

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He remains in custody at this time and enquiries into the incidents are ongoing.

Detective Inspector Richard Holmes, of Leeds District CID, said: We are continuing to progress the investigation and the man in custody will be interviewed about the incidents today.

We are continuing to carry out extensive enquiries, including a detailed trawl of CCTV in the areas surrounding both incidents.

Sikh Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara in Leeds, West Yorks., was targeted in an arson attack alonside nearby Beeston Central Mosque (Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque), June 06 2018. See Ross Parry story RPYFIRE: Two arson attacks on a Sikh temple and Muslim mosque in the early hours of today (Tues) are being investigated by police as possible "hate crimes". The front doorways of the religious buildings were deliberately set on fire during the "specifically targeted" attacks in the early hours, police said. It is believed flammable liquid had been used to start the fires at the Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque and Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara in Beeston in Leeds, West Yorks. West Yorkshire Police said the attacks were being linked and they are now appealing to the public for further information.

The incidents are being treated as hate crimes. (Picture: SWNS)

We are still very keen to hear from anyone who witnessed anything suspicious at either location or who saw any person or vehicles around the time the incidents have occurred between 3am and 4am.

We are continuing to liaise with our colleagues in the local neighbourhood policing team who are maintaining an increased presence in the area and having regular contact with key representatives from the communities affected to keep them updated and to reassure the wider community.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting crime reference 1318270739 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Sikh Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara in Leeds, West Yorks., was targeted in an arson attack alonside nearby Beeston Central Mosque (Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque), June 06 2018. See Ross Parry story RPYFIRE: Two arson attacks on a Sikh temple and Muslim mosque in the early hours of today (Tues) are being investigated by police as possible "hate crimes". The front doorways of the religious buildings were deliberately set on fire during the "specifically targeted" attacks in the early hours, police said. It is believed flammable liquid had been used to start the fires at the Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque and Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara in Beeston in Leeds, West Yorks. West Yorkshire Police said the attacks were being linked and they are now appealing to the public for further information.

A 42-year-old has since been arrested at an address in Leeds on suspicion of arson in relation to the fires. (Picture: SWNS)

Inspector Ian OBrien, who heads neighbourhood policing for south Leeds, said: “These incidents will cause an understandable level of concern in both the Muslim and Sikh communities in this area and we are working closely with key representatives from those communities to reassure them.

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Although it appears both locations have been specifically targeted as places of worship for these communities, there is nothing at this stage to suggest they are part of any wider pattern.

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We have increased our patrols of the area to provide visible reassurance to people living there and will continue to keep key community representatives informed as the investigation develops.

Hate crimes that target particular communities and have the potential to cause divisions and tensions cannot and will not be tolerated and we will continue to do everything we can to find those responsible and support and reassure the communities affected.

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