British police say fire at London Islamic school suspicious

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 09, 2013 10:26 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - A fire at an Islamic boarding school in London late on Saturday night is being treated as suspicious, the police said, just days after a mosque was burnt down in another part of the British capital in a suspected arson attack.

In an incident likely to stoke fears that an anti-Muslim backlash is under way after the killing of a British soldier on a London street last month, police said they were investigating a fire at the Darul Uloom Islamic School in Chislehurst.

Police who were called to the school just before midnight on Saturday said that two people were treated for smoke inhalation and the flames had caused minor damage to the building.

Around 120 children and staff were inside the school at the time and had to be evacuated, local media reported.

"Enquiries continue into the circumstances of the fire. At this early stage it is being treated as suspicious," the police said in a statement on Sunday, saying they had made no arrests so far.

The fire follows a suspected arson attack on an Islamic centre in north London last Wednesday. "EDL" was found scrawled on the side of that building.

EDL is the acronym for the English Defense League (EDL), a far-right group that has held several protests in London and elsewhere since the murder of soldier Lee Rigby last month.

The EDL denied any involvement in the previous incident.

(Reporting By Andrew Osborn; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)