LONDON (AFP) – British counter-terror police were on Friday investigating reports of an explosion outside a mosque in central England that witnesses said left nails scattered over the ground.
No injuries were reported after the incident in the town of Tipton in the West Midlands, but police evacuated several streets in the area as a precautionary measure.
“An investigation is being led by the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit and it is being treated as a terrorist incident,” West Midlands Police said in a statement.
There has been a rise in anti-Muslim incidents in Britain since May, when a soldier was hacked to death on a London street in a suspected Islamist attack.
Friday’s incident coincided with the funeral of 25-year-old soldier Lee Rigby, who was murdered in broad daylight near his barracks in Woolwich, southeast London, on May 22.
Prime Minister David Cameron was among 800 mourners at Rigby’s private military funeral in Bury, northwest England, while thousands of members of the public lined the streets to pay their respects.
Two Muslim converts from Nigerian Christian families have been charged with Rigby’s murder and are due to stand trial in November.