Tuesday, April 10, 2007

England: Police appealed for calm after a night of violent clashes between rival groups of Muslims at a mosque

Birmingham Mail:

Dozens of officers were called to the Uxbridge area of Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, around 6pm yesterday after reports of serious disorder outside the town's central mosque.

Around 200 people were involved in the clashes, which saw punches thrown and minor injuries sustained during skirmishes between two rival factions that lasted late into the night.

Officers believe a long-standing tussle for control of the mosque lay behind the violence - the second such incident in the town in two years.

Chief Supt Smy, of Staffordshire Police, said: "I am appalled that this is the second time in two years this ongoing dispute within the community has led to violence erupting on the streets of Burton.

"It is a matter of great regret that many people lost control and seemed not prepared to use the well-understood methods of resolving issues within their community but instead were prepared to resort to threats and violence.

"I would appeal to the whole community for calm and good sense. I also ask that everyone in the community supports my officers during their investigations to ensure this does not happen again."

Police remained on the streets of Burton throughout the night to prevent further violence flaring up, but no arrests were made.

An investigation into the disturbance has been launched.

Scenes of violence outside mosque

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