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Gunshots hit California mosque

05 November 2014, 08:06

Coachella - No one was hurt when gunfire struck a mosque in the desert city of Coachella before dawn Tuesday, authorities in Southern California said.

A report of shots fired was received at 05:01, and responding officers determined that several shots struck the Islamic Society of the Coachella Valley building and a vehicle, the Sheriff's Department said. The building was occupied, but nobody was injured.

The shooting in the city about 40km southeast of Palm Springs was being investigated as a possible hate crime, a Sheriff's Department statement said.

A regional office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement calling for an FBI investigation.

"Any time shots are fired at a house of worship, the FBI should offer its resources to local authorities to help determine whether or not there was a bias motive for the attack," CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said.

A call to the Islamic Society was not immediately returned, and an FBI spokesperson did not immediately reply to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Also read: Nigeria mosque attack raises questions

Last month in New Mexico, someone hurled a Molotov cocktail at the wall of an unoccupied Albuquerque mosque. No one was hurt, and no suspects were identified. Community members held a peace walk a few days later to support the mosque.

CAIR also said a threatening letter containing an unknown substance was recently mailed to a mosque in San Diego.

- AP


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