UK counter terrorism police investigating after man set on fire near mosque

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CNN
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British counter terrorism police are investigating an attack on a man who was set on fire while he was walking home from a mosque in Birmingham, central England, on Monday.

One man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and remains in custody, West Midlands police said in a statement Tuesday.

The victim was approached by a man who sprayed him “with an unknown substance” before setting him ablaze, officers said.

“It’s believed the man, who was walking home from Dudley Road mosque, was approached by a man who spoke to him briefly before spraying him with an unknown substance and then his jacket was set alight, causing burns to his face,” the statement reads.

“He was taken to hospital with serious injuries which are thankfully not believed to be life-threatening,” it added.

Security camera footage of the incident has been widely shared on social media.

“We’re aware of a video being circulated on social media showing a man being set alight, and we’re examining it as part of our investigations,” police said.

West Midlands police Supt. James Spencer said police “are determined to find out who is responsible.”

And Chief Supt. Richard North said police are “keeping an open mind to the motive of the attacker,” and won’t comment further on a possible motive.

Extra officers have been deployed to the area today to speak to the community and to provide reassurance, police said.

This is the second incident of its kind in England in recent weeks.

On February 27, an 82-year-old man was set on fire shortly after leaving a mosque in Ealing, west London, according to a statement from London’s Metropolitan Police.

West Midlands police said the force is “aware of a similar incident in the Ealing area of London and we are working with the Metropolitan Police Service to see whether they are linked.”



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