Arsonists targeted a Limassol mosque early on Saturday, only hours after Muslims had gathered there to pray.
Police said an unknown person approached the Jedit Mosque located in the old Limassol port around 1.15am. They threw firecrackers in bottles containing liquid flammable material, damaging the entrance and walls.
CCTV cameras in the area recorded the arson attack where a person can be seen approaching the premises on foot and throwing something at the building twice in quick succession. Officers also visited the scene for on-site examinations.
Opposition Disy issued a statement condemning the incident in which they mentioned the Turkish name of the mosque and warned against efforts to “politically exploit” the attack.
“Such attacks and acts of violence, wherever they come from, are alien to the culture and civilisation of our people,” they said.
Therefore, any attempt to politically exploit the incident at the İbrahimağa Köprülü Mosque can only be detrimental, Disy noted.
The arson was also condemned by the Muslim foundation Evkaf.
“The attack on our historic mosque and religious values by people who are yet to be identified is not acceptable,” Evkaf’s director Ibrahim Bender said.
He added that it was fortunate that there were no worshippers there at that time and there were no casualties from this tragic incident.
Both Evkaf and the right-wing party called on the authorities to solve the criminal act as soon as possible and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The attack came after another incident at the same mosque on Friday when a large number of Muslims, mainly of Syrian origin, gathered outside for Friday prayers at around noon.
According to the police, without informing the authorities, a number of worshippers spread carpets on the road, blocking Angiras Street, causing traffic jams and reactions from the public. Officers went to the scene to try to discreetly enforce order.
A number of Syrians then marched in protest against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the vicinity of the site.