UK police investigate explosion near mosque

LONDON (AP) — An explosion near a mosque in central England is being treated as suspected terrorism, British police said Friday. No injuries were reported.

Residents in the town of Tipton reported hearing a loud bang and finding nails near the Kanz-ul-Iman Muslim Welfare Association Central Jamia mosque, according to West Midlands Police.

The blast appeared to have happened shortly before Friday prayers were expected to begin. The area around the mosque was evacuated as a precaution.

The incident came the same day as the funeral of soldier Lee Rigby, who was killed in broad daylight by alleged Islamic extremists on a London street.

That attack in May triggered a spike in religious tensions, and police have reported an increase in attacks against mosques and Muslim community centers in the subsequent weeks.

Last month, an explosive device was found near a mosque in Walsall, not far from Tipton.

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