Arsonists target Islamic school again

29th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

29 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — A suspected arson attack has targeted an Islamic primary school in Uden. The same school was destroyed in a deliberate blaze as part of the series of retaliatory attacks in the wake of the murder of Theo van Gogh last November.

29 March 2005

AMSTERDAM — A suspected arson attack has targeted an Islamic primary school in Uden. The same school was destroyed in a deliberate blaze as part of the series of retaliatory attacks in the wake of the murder of Theo van Gogh last November.

The latest fire broke out on Sunday night, but the damage was restricted to two chairs. On Monday morning, investigators found a bottle which is believed to have contained a Molotov cocktail.

Police have arrested a 17-year-old Uden boy in connection with the fire and further arrests have not been ruled out. Muslims have expressed heightened concerns about the latest incident.

The school and a local mosque have now been placed under permanent security and police have also intensified surveillance of Islamic buildings in the region. Some 15 to 20 officers are investigating the school fire.

Uden Mayor Joke Kersten said school workers were "shocked that this could happen a second time", news agency AFP reported.

School director Ismail Taspinar told RTL News that the damage to the school was not that important when considered in context with the emotional trauma incurred.

Several teenagers ranging in age from 14 to 16 were arrested after the first fire last year. The message "Theo R.I.P." and a racist white power symbol was chalked on the building after Van Gogh's murder.

The public prosecutor said the youths were not linked with extreme right-wing groups, newspaper NRC reported. All six suspects have since been released from custody and are under house arrest. They will appear in Den Bosch Children's Court on 17 May.

One of the youths said on public television earlier this month that the attack had been planned and that he regretted the incident.

There was a wave of tit-for-tat attacks against Islamic buildings after the murder of Van Gogh. A suspected Islamic militant has been arrested for the killing.

The Uden Bedir Islamitische Basisschool had moved to an empty school building after last year's fire.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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