Birmingham mosque attacks: Four holy buildings vandalised 'with sledgehammers'

Witton Road Islamic Centre.
Police have confirmed four mosques have been attacked with sledgehammers in Birmingham overnight.

West Midlands police have confirmed the mosques were attacked on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

The Birmingham Muslim community has been left terrified just days after the deadly terror attacks on two mosques in New Zealand.

The force has confirmed the Witton Road Islamic Centre in Witton was among those attacked overnight Wednesday.

West Midlands police say they were called at 2.32am today to reports of a man smashing windows with a sledgehammer at the mosque on Birchfield Road. 

Officers arrived within minutes, but soon established that the attack had happened some time earlier.

At 3.14am, police were alerted to a similar attack at the mosque on Slade Road, Erdington.

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Police began patrols in areas with mosques and came across further damage at places of worship on Witton Road, Aston, and at Broadway, Perry Barr.

Forensic officers are working to identify evidence, and CCTV is being examined, the force said.

Neighbourhood officers are working closely with mosques around the West Midlands today,police added.

The Birmingham Council of Mosques earlier released a statement saying at least three premises were “vandalised” on Wednesday night, Birmingham Live has reported.

Sharafat Ali, the Imam of Witton Islamic Centre, said around seven windows and two doors were smashed between 1.30am and 2am on Thursday.

Mr Ali said the attack had left them scared in the wake of the New Zealand massacre on Friday, which killed 50 worshippers in two mosques. 

They were terrified after the vandalism, 66-year-old Mr Ali said.

"It's terrible, the community is shocked because of what’s happened in New Zealand.

We’ve been here for 30 years. In the morning you get 40 worshippers for morning prayer, on Friday you get about two to three hundred. 

This doesn’t happen in Aston.

Tomorrow is Friday prayers and I don’t know what’s going up happen.

We are asking the police to give us more security.”

The Birmingham Council of Mosques is urging vigilance ahead of Friday prayers.

It said it believed the attacked mosques were based around Handsworth, Aston and Witton.

"We ask the Masajids to be vigilant and do not hesitate in reporting any unusual/suspicious behaviour to the police immediately.

It is vital you report it so it can be logged."

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