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Suspected Nail Bomb Attack near Mosque

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Suspected Nail Bomb Attack near Mosque

Post  Panda on Sun 14 Jul - 2:10

Controlled Explosion After Blast Near MosqueThe army carries out a controlled explosion a day after a suspected nail bomb attack near a mosque in Tipton in the West Midlands.7:11pm UK, Saturday 13 July 2013 Video: Inter-faith Solidarity After Mosque Attack In Tipton
Enlarge EmailAuthorites investigating a suspected nail bomb attack near a mosque in Tipton have carried out a controlled explosion on what was believed to be part of the device.

Police have launched a counter-terrorism investigation after Friday's blast close to the Kanz Ul Iman Masjid mosque, which officers said was designed to cause "serious harm".

"Following ongoing forensic searches of the cordoned area, officers have found what appears to be a potential small component part of the device in a back garden of one of the properties," West Midlands Police said in a statement.

It added that, for safety reasons, the component could not be moved - leading army bomb disposal officers to carry out the controlled explosion at the scene to make the item safe.

Police have promised a 'lengthy and thorough' investigation

The statement also sought to reassure residents that the bang resulting from the controlled explosion was only due to the device being made safe.

Security has been increased in the West Midlands after the attack, as community leaders and police appeal for calm.

Local imam Ghulam Rasool told Sky News that the community was calm, but more vigilant.

"People are more vigilant, more prudent, there's lots of security cameras going up, CCTV cameras going up, volunteers are coming in," he said.

He noted that the attack, which came during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, had disrupted some of the services.

Along with other religious leaders and police, he urged residents to stick together regardless of beliefs and backgrounds.

Forensic experts at the scene
Saying the incident would not change residents' attitudes or beliefs, he said everyone believed in shared values such as freedom of speech and religious expression.

"The people of Tipton and Sandwell will not succumb to disharmony," he said.

Forensics investigators and detectives were at the scene as they sought to find out who was behind the device.

Chief Superintendent Mark Robinson said searches were under way in and around the mosque.

"We're in a process of gathering and preserving evidence," he said, adding that some extra police had been deployed.

He asked the community to be patient for what he said would be a "lengthy and thorough investigation".

The mosque is expected to remain closed until at least Sunday evening while the investigation continues.

Residents reported hearing a loud bang in wasteland off Binfield Street, Tipton, at around 1pm on Friday that scattered nails and other debris over a large area and into local gardens.

It is understood the explosion centred on an embankment near a disused rail line running behind the mosque.

No-one was injured in the explosion but some minor damage to property was reported.

Army experts were called to the area and residents were told to stay away from the scene until it had been made safe.

Imam Ghulam Rasool has appealed for calm

The incident came on the same day murdered soldier Lee Rigby was remembered at a funeral service in Bury, Greater Manchester, and just weeks after an explosion near a mosque in the Caldmore area of Walsall.

The remains of a home-made explosive device were found on June 22 in an alleyway adjoining the Aisha Mosque and Islamic Centre in Rutter Street.

Speaking at the scene of the Tipton incident on Friday, Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Cann said he was unaware of any links to the blast in Walsall.

He said a combination of factors taken together had led officers to treat the incident as an act of terrorism, including the presence of nails and the location of the incident.

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