Corsica Muslim prayer hall damaged as violence continues

AP News
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Posted: Dec 25, 2015 11:27 PM

PARIS (AP) — A crowd vandalized a Muslim prayer room in Corsica a day after an ambush left firefighters injured on the French island.

The region's top police official was on the tense scene at a housing project Friday evening.

The violence began Thursday night, when firefighters responding to an emergency call were ambushed in Ajaccio, according to the local France 3 television. On Friday, a gathering that started as a show of support for the injured emergency officials turned violent, and some in the crowd vandalized a prayer room. France 3 reported new police reinforcements at other prayer rooms.

France's prime minister, Manuel Valls, called Friday for respect for French law after "the intolerable aggression toward firefighters and unacceptable profanation of a Muslim place of prayer."

France's interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, condemned those responsible for hurting police and firefighters in Ajaccio. He said investigators would also look into the vandalism of the prayer room, which he said included attempts to burn Qurans and prayer books.