French mosque gets threatening letter, powder

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A mosque in eastern France said Friday it received a threatening letter containing a suspicious white powder which police said turned out to be harmless.

Leaders at the Eyyub Sultan mosque in Strasbourg opened the anonymous letter, delivered by mail, after Friday prayers and found "two pages and an unidentified white powder", their spokesman Yaha Nalbant told AFP.

One of the pages had Koranic verses written on it and was partly burnt and the other bore a printed message reading "Get out of our land while you can. Your choice: a suitcase or a coffin," he added.

"This needs to be properly dealt with. It's nothing but provocation," Nalbant said.

The mosque is frequented by worshippers from Strasbourg's Turkish community.

Police sealed off the site while emergency chemical experts came to examine the powder.

A police official said it tested negative for nuclear, radioactive, bacteriologic or chemical risk and said detectives were looking for the sender.

© 2010 AFP

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