Mosque set on fire in French island of Corsica

Mosque seriously damaged and burned in French island of Corsica four months after an attack on a different mosque.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A picture taken on April 30, 2016 shows a Muslim prayer room in Ajaccio after it was destroyed by a fire suspected to be an arson.

A mosque has been destroyed by fire overnight in the capital of the French island of Corsica, local authorities in Ajaccio said, four months after a separate mosque was plundered.

Eventhough no one was injured in the fire in Ajaccio, police are still investigating the incident as a criminal attack after finding two different evidences of fire inside the mosque.

The mosque, one of the largest prayer halls in the capital Ajaccio has suffered major damage in the fire, said Abdallah Zekri, the head of the National Observatory Against Islamophobia.

He called the authorities "to do everything to shed light on this incident in order to avoid an escalation of violence".

"This is unacceptable", Ajaccio mayor Laurent Marcangeli said and added, "those sites are not sufficiently protected."

A French police officer stands outside a Muslim prayer hall in Corsica's capital Ajaccio on April 30, 2016 after it was destroyed by a fire.

In December, Ajaccio has been on tenterhooks following an attack on a mosque that left it burned and seriously damaged during the anti-immigrant protests.

Demonstrators attack the prayer hall and set fire to books including copies of the Quran, shouting slogans such as "This is our home!" and "Arabs get out".

Many anti-Muslim attacks were carried out following the attack including an attack on a Muslim butcher shop.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve released a statement on Saturday, calling "solidarity with the Muslims of Corsica".

He also said that, "commitment of the government to protect all places of worship, and to ensure freedom of worship throughout the territory".

Far-right wing gained significant victory in Corcica elections for the first time in last December. The island has the second largest percentage of foreigners in France, nearly between eight and 10 percent of total population after Paris.

TRTWorld and agencies