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Petrol bomb thrown into Edinburgh mosque

The first petrol bomb attack on a mosque in Edinburgh has "shocked and saddened"...

The first petrol bomb attack on a mosque in Edinburgh has "shocked and saddened" the city's Muslim community.

The Pakistan Association's mosque and community centre in Leith was badly damaged by fire early yesterday morning.

The mosque is used by up to 300 people for Friday prayers, and the hall above is used every day for activities including classes for school children.

DI Ronnie Mackintosh said the fire, which damaged the prayer area, broke out at 1am and was not intended to harm anyone. But he said: "It is the natural assumption that it is in some way related to the terrorist attacks in America."

Shami Khan, development officer at the Pakistan Society in Edinburgh, added that race relations were generally very good, compared to other cities in Britain.

"When we received reports that mosques in England had been the target of arson attacks, we remained hopeful that the situation in Edinburgh would not become as critical.

"The Muslim community has excellent relations with Scottish colleagues, friends and neighbours. It is only a tiny minority who actively wish to incite racial hatred."

The attack follows an incident in Livingston in which youths bombarded worshippers with stones, forcing them to lock themselves inside the building and call the police.