French Interior Minister Condemns Arson Attempt at Mosque


PARIS (AP) — France’s interior minister on Thursday condemned on Thursday an arson attempt at a mosque in the French city of Lyon.

Gerald Darmanin denounced in a tweet “anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian acts” as “stupid and heinous,” less than a week after another fire damaged a mosque in a Lyon suburb.

Pierre Oliver, mayor of Lyon’s 2nd district, said on French news broadcaster BFM TV the fire appears to be “of criminal origin” but there were no casualties. Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames, which damaged the mosque’s front door.

The French Muslim Council, or CFCM, expressed its full support and solidarity toward worshipers.

“We are hoping that the video surveillance system in front of the mosque will help clarify the circumstances of the fire and identify the authors,” the CFCM said.

Last week, Lyon prosecutor said that early findings suggested a criminal act was at the origin of the fire that damaged an annex of a mosque in the city’s suburb of Bron.

The new fire comes one day after the Paris prosecutor’s office said it opened an investigation into violent theft motivated by reasons of religion regarding an apparent anti-Semitic attack on a 29-year-man in an apartment building in the French capital.

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