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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Vandals attack two mosques in France

Vandals attacked two mosques in France early Sunday, setting fire to one in the western city of Quimper and scrawling insults on the walls of another in Carcassonne, in the south, officials said.

Muslims began their celebration of Ramadan, a period of prayer and fasting, on Sunday.

Firefighters called to the scene at 4:20 a.m. extinguished the blaze at the Penhars Mosque in Quimper, in the Brittany region of western France, said Philippe Paolantoni, deputy prefect of the region. Swastikas were scrawled on the outside walls. The prosecutor's office opened an investigation.

Damage to the mosque was modest despite the fact four fires were set inside the Penhars Mosque, one of two Muslim places of worship in Quimper. A window was found open, apparently used for access to the mosque, Paolantoni said, adding that a passer-by alerted firefighters after seeing swastikas scrawled on the outer walls and flames inside. [Link]

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