BREAKING NEWS : Manchester Islamic mosque set on fire

A mosque that has previously had pigs’ heads thrown at it has been seriously damaged in a suspected arson attack.

The Manchester Nasfat Islamic Centre was badly damaged by a blaze late on Sunday, with three classrooms described as having been gutted.

Greater Manchester Police said the fire is being treated as suspicious and an investigation is under way.

The mosque, in the Newton Heath area of the city, has previously been hit by anti-Islamic abuse.

Monsurat Adebanjo-Aremu, branch secretary of the centre, told the Manchester Evening News that men have urinated outside the building and two pigs’ heads were once thrown into the mosque during worship.

She said that three classrooms were gutted by the blaze and described damage to the main area of worship as “severe”.

Around 30 firefighters were called to the scene, in Droylsden Road, at around 11.40pm.

A spokesman for the mosque said officials had received a call to say the centre was “being attacked”.

No one was inside at the time and no injuries were reported.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said in a statement: “We were called at 11.43pm to Droylsden Road in Newton Heath to reports of a fire.

“We sent five pumps to the scene and an investigation is now under way.”

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “The fire is being treated as suspicious and a joint investigation has been launched by GMP and GMFRS.”

Three years ago, a minibus used by the mosque was set alight by suspected arsonists.

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