Monday, March 12, 2012, 23:09
A mosque was arsoned in Anderlecht (Brussels) shortly before 19 hours and was completely burnt down. One person died. Hundreds of people in shock gathered outside the mosque.
Shortly before 19 hours, the Shiite mosque Rida, located "Rue du Docteur De Meersman" in Anderlecht, was set on fire and totally burned. About 18:30, a man entered the mosque which housed its followers. The man in question is said to be a Salafi. The man came armed with an axe and two petrol cans. He first broke the windows with his axe so that the fire could spread more rapidly thereafter. Then he doused with petrol the main hall of the mosque, according to sources. But this information could not be confirmed. The Rida followers managed to keep the arsonist under custody inside of the mosque until the police arrived.
The imam of the mosque, 47 years old, lost his life trying to extinguish the fire. He was intoxicated by the smoke. Around 18:45, the fire department had already rescued a slightly intoxicated victim, who did not need care. The second victim, the imam, died on the spot. It is a witness who saw the arsonist set fire with gasoline that immediately alerted the police. The arsonist has been arrested. Hundreds of people gathered peacefully outside the mosque. They are in shock, many people are in tears. The massive police tried to identify the suspect through surveillance cameras of the mosque.
Vice President of the Muslim Executive of Belgium, Isabelle Praile, which is herself Shia, declared herself "shocked" by the tragedy. It involves Salafi extremists. The Shiite mosque Rida has actually already been threatened by Salafists, in 2007. "The Islamic center Rida, who is the most important Shiite mosque in Brussels, had already been placed under police protection, a few years ago," says Isabelle Praile. "From what I know, a young offenders - they are three in number - have discussed the situation in Syria to support the fire ... I can only deplore the anti-Shiite conveyed in Belgium by some states, such as Bahrain. Clearly, this has led some extremists to commit the irreparable. I called the Shiite community of Belgium to keep its calm: do not fall into the trap of this provocation. "
In: Regional News
Tags: belgium, brussels, arson, mosque, shiite, salafi, arson
Location: Brussels, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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