Asharq Al-Awsat, Riyadh- The wave of arson attacks against mosques in the Saudi capital reached al Aflaj, a town south of Riyadh on Wednesday, when an individual set fire to the Othman bin Affan mosque in the Layla region.
Police issued a statement confirming that the fire was deliberate. Inspections revealed the flames spread to a car parked outside the mosque. The perpetrator was later arrested.
According to a police statement, further investigation revealed the attackers entered the mosque before the morning prayer and lit petrol inside before making their escape. The individual involved was already known to the police and subsequently arrested. He later admitted he was guilty. He remains in custody as the investigation into the motives and run –up to the crime continues.
Similar incidents occurred last week when several mosques located in east Riyadh were set ablaze and damaged by unknown criminals. The attacks occurred in al Nahdah, al Rawdah and al Khalij neighborhoods of the capital. There were conflicting reports on the number of mosques damaged.
A source at the Ministry For Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Dawa and Guidance confirmed the incidents took place but did not elaborate further.