BREAKING NEWS: Birmingham mosques attacked

Counter-terrorism detectives in the West Midlands are investigating attacks on four mosques in Birmingham overnight.

Officers responded to reports of a man smashing windows with a sledgehammer at a mosque in Birchfield Road at 2.32am, but when they arrived at the scene they discovered that attack had taken place some time earlier.

Around 42 minutes later, police were alerted to a similar attack at a mosque in Slade Road, Erdington.

Patrols were stepped up across the city and officers discovered further damage at places of worship in Witton Road, Aston, and on Broadway in Perry Barr.

The motive behind the attacks remains unknown but West Midlands Police said it was believed they were linked.

West Midlands Police said forensic teams were at the scenes to collect evidence and officers were examining CCTV in the areas.

The force said officers, as well as West Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit were investigating the attacks.

West Midlands Police Chief Constable Dave Thompson said: “Since the tragic events in Christchurch, New Zealand, officers and staff from West Midlands Police have been working closely with our faith partners across the region to offer reassurance and support at mosques, churches and places of prayer.

“At the moment we don’t know the motive for last night’s attacks.

“What I can say is that the force and the Counter-Terrorism Unit are working side-by-side to find whoever is responsible.

“At difficult times like this, it is incredibly important that everyone unites against those who seek to create discord, uncertainty and fear in our communities.”

More follows…