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Swedish Police: Arson Possibly behind Mosque Fire - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Swedish police announced on Monday that they have not ruled out the possibility of arson behind a fire that cause major damage at a mosque near the capital Stockholm overnight.

Stockholm police spokesman Lars Bystrom said: “It appears to have been lit from the outside.”

He could not give further details pending an investigation.

No one was injured in the blaze, which started in the Jarfalla neighborhood late Sunday. Only a handful of people were in the building, but earlier up to 500 people had attended celebrations at the mosque.

Mosque spokesman Akil Zahiri told the national news agency TT on Monday that he was “very troubled” as the mosque was not only his workplace, but also “felt like another home.”

As migrants have flooded into Sweden, there have been increasing xenophobic attacks, including 112 fires last year at refugee reception centers, most of them arson.

Swedish authorities are wary of possible reprisals after a man rammed a hijacked beer truck into a busy downtown pedestrian mall last month, killing five people. An Uzbek whose asylum request was rejected is being held as the main suspect.

ISIS claimed responsibility for a fire last year at a small mosque in Malmo in southern Sweden.

The main suspect in the case was accused on terrorism charges but has been acquitted.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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