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Sixth Birmingham mosque targeted by vandals

Broken windows at the mosque and community centre in Birmingham. Credit: PA

Another Birmingham mosque has been targeted by vandals.

Police are examining CCTV after criminal damage was caused to a window of the building in Balsall Heath, on Saturday morning.

Detectives do not believe the incident is linked to five other attacks on mosques in the city.

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An investigation, involving counter-terrorism officers, was launched after five mosques had windows broken with a sledgehammer in the early hours of Thursday.

West Midlands Police said a 34-year-old man arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage after handing himself into a city police station on Friday has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

No-one else is being sought in relation to the first five incidents and detectives do not believe the suspect was part of an organised group, although the investigation is ongoing.

Forensic officers work on a mosque targeted in an incident earlier this week. Credit: PA

A 38-year-old man from Yardley, who was arrested after being detained by members of the community on Friday afternoon, has been released without charge and will face no further action.

Officers received reports on Thursday of vandalism at Al Habib Trust in Birchfield Road and then attended a second attack at the Ghousia Mosque in Slade Road, Erdington.

Further damage was discovered at Witton Islamic Centre in Aston, and Masjid Madrassa Faizal Islam in Perry Barr.

Officers also responded to a smashed window at Jamia Mosque in Aston, after pictures were circulated on social media.

Police started patrols in areas with mosques. Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

Police have said increased patrols will continue at key locations to reassure communities and security advice is being provided to religious establishments across the West Midlands.

Outside the mosque on Albert Road on Thursday, Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe described the attacks as “an abhorrent, despicable act that is clearly designed to create fear in our communities who are actually cherished in Birmingham”.

Assistant Chief Constable Matt Ward said: “There will be a visual police presence at key locations to offer reassurance to our communities.

“It is incredibly important that we unite together against those who seek to create discord, uncertainty and fear.”