Minneapolis police investigating another fire at a mosque

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis police are investigating another fire at a mosque, and faith leaders want them to look closely at the motive if the fire that destroyed three garages is determined to be arson.

The fire at Mercy Mosque happened around midday Wednesday and caused more than $100,000 worth of damage. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports there have been at least six other instances of vandalism at Muslim houses of worship in the state this year, including two arson cases that are pending.

Investigators are still working to determine what caused this latest fire.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a statement that police should conduct a comprehensive investigation to determine if the mosque was targeted in the fire “in light of the previous attack and increasing community tensions.”

In April, another fire was set in the hallway of Mercy Mosque that forced the evacuation of a day care and dozens of worshippers, and that was the second mosque fire in two days. A Minneapolis man has been charged in those fires.

A few weeks later, another fire was set at St. Paul’s Tawhid Islamic Center causing more than $250,000 worth of damage. Another man has been charged in that case.