Police are treating a blast near a mosque in Tipton in West Midlands as a terrorist incident, saying "it was intended to cause serious harm"
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Police have confirmed details of an explosion near a mosque in Tipton. The blast is understood to have centred on an embankment near a disused rail line running behind the Kanz Ul Iman Masjid mosque.
We can't say for definite the explosion was intended to damage the mosque but the most likely conclusion is it was intended to cause serious harm to people or property.
That leads us to have a working assumption, based on what we know now, that this is an act of terrorism.
– Assistant Chief Constable Gary Cann
We have a large number of experts and specialists working on this case and I'm confident we'll get to the bottom of exactly what happened.
We have officers visiting local mosques and other places of worship to offer reassurance...and the response from the mosque has been very supportive.
This is greatly helping our enquiries.
TIPTON: Most of the cordons have now been lifted although Binfield Street is likely to remain closed overnight.
The leaders of the mosque in Tipton which was the scene of a blast that police have called a terrorist incident have condemned the attack and urged the community to come together.
We jointly on behalf of the local community condemn this senseless and mindless act. It's a blessing from God that thankfully no-one was injured in the blast.
– Statement from the Kanz Ul Iman Masjid Mosque
We call for calm and strongly urge the community not to let this incident divide us and cause disharmony. We stand united together in the aftermath of this mindless act.
Dozens of local people who were asked to leave their homes inside the sealed-off area gathered at several cordons along Dudley Port, Tipton, where police were giving out bottles of water to families with young children.
Local resident Rob Abbey, who lives a few hundred yards from the mosque, said the explosion sounded "very, very loud" but he had no idea what it was at the time.The 35-year-old said:
I was just leaving to go to the park when I heard it.I wasn't given any choice about leaving and I'm told it may be up to several hours before we're allowed back.
Bomb disposal teams are working at the scene of a suspected nail bomb attack near a mosque in Tipton in the Black Country.
Counter-terrorism officers are investigating after residents reported a 'loud bang' near the Kanzul Iman Mosque on Binfield Street shortly after 1.00pm.
Mushtaq Hussain, chairman of the Kanzul Iman Mosque was inside the building at the time of the explosion. He said:
There was huge disruption and somebody told me that there had been an explosion.
We immediately investigated and alerted police. We tried to remain calm as we weren't sure what was going on.
It happened just after one o'clock which on a Friday is the busiest time of the day for our mosque usually.
If it wasn't Ramadan there would be at least 200 people here but thankfully at the time there were only a handful of people and everybody escaped without injury.
– Mushtaq Hussain, chairman of the Kanzul Iman Mosque
If what I'm hearing is correct and it was a targeted attack you can't help but feel unsafe, worried for your friends, family and your own life.
Tipton Green councillor Ian Jones said residents in the area had described hearing a "loud thud", while councillor Syeda Amina Khatun said she was not aware of any previous attacks on the mosque.
– Syeda Amina Khatun, local councillor
The explosion has gone off on the disused railway line behind the mosque.
There are lots of police around so there must be want for them to be here.
The whole estate has been blocked off.
People are surprised that something like this has happened.
The loud bang was reported near the Kanz-ul-Iman Muslim Welfare Association Central Jamia Mosque in Binfield Street, both councillors confirmed.
West Midlands Police have confirmed that they are treating the reports of a blast near a mosque in Tipton as a terrorist incident:
Explosion in Tipton being treated as terrorist incident. Latest: http://t.co/J7ysPfLTL8
A local resident has been stopped from returning to her home which is within the police cordon in Tipton.
Speaking to ITV News Central, Linda Moore said: "it's very very frightening" and that she had not been told what the situation was.
The cordon could be seen behind Linda and a helicopter heard over the area as she spoke.
Police have closed six streets after a suspected explosion near a mosque.