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Friday, 21 September, 2001, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
Pigs' heads left at Islamic centre
Many Muslims are worried about attacks
Ten pigs' heads have been left outside a mosque following the terrorist attacks in the United States.

They were left around the car park outside the Islamic Centre of the South West in Exeter, said a Devon and Cornwall police spokesman.

Officers were called to the mosque in York Road just before midnight on Thursday last week.

The spokesman said the incident was being treated as "a local act of vandalism".

"We are working extremely closely with leaders of the Islamic centre," he said.

The Islamic Centre said it was not making any comment to avoid inflaming the situation.

Muslims are forbidden to eat or touch pigs.

Malicious fire

Meanwhile, Muslim leaders in Manchester are appealing for calm after a suspected arson attack on a mosque in Bolton.

Police said Thursday night's fire at the Alvia mosque on Bromwich Street was being treated as malicious.

It is thought to have been started with flammable material which caused an explosion, damaging three windows.

Hate crimes are a crime against the whole community and we will not tolerate such crimes in this area

Chief Superintendent Tony Porter
About 20 people are believed to have been in the building when the windows were shattered but no-one was injured.

A Greater Manchester police spokesman said it was not known if the fire was connected to the attacks in America on Tuesday.

On Sunday a fire was started at a mosque in Fallowfield, Manchester, causing minor damage.

Several others around the country have been daubed with graffitti.

'Difficult week'

Chief Superintendent Tony Porter, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "This has been a difficult week for all members of communities throughout Greater Manchester and internationally.

"But this is now the time for everyone to remain calm and for the whole community to pull together.

"Hate crimes are a crime against the whole community and we will not tolerate such crimes in this area."

Faruq Mangera, general secretary of the Bolton Council of Mosques, said: "I don't think these attacks will solve anything and I ask the Muslim community to be calm and be cool.

"We are innocent people and have played no part in the awful atrocity in the States."

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