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21 March 2019, 10:14 | Updated: 21 March 2019, 11:09
Police are investigating after five mosques in Birmingham had their windows smashed overnight.
Police were called at 2.32am to reports of a man smashing windows with a sledgehammer at the mosque on Birchfield Road.
Officers arrived within minutes, but soon established that the attack had happened some time earlier.
At 3.14am, police were alerted to a similar attack at the mosque on Slade Road, Erdington. Police began patrols in areas with mosques and came across further damage at places of worship on Witton Road, Aston, and at Broadway, Perry Barr.
Since releasing the initial appeal, West Midlands Police have since confirmed they're investigating a fifth attack.
#UPDATE | At 10.04am today police were called to a mosque on Albert Road following reports that a window had just been smashed. At this stage, it is being treated as linked to the earlier incidents: https://t.co/C6bR5TNQUL pic.twitter.com/FrbCiJ7Plq— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) March 21, 2019
Forensic officers are working to identify evidence, and CCTV is being examined. The motive behind the attacks, which are being treated as linked, is yet to be established but West Midlands Police and the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit are investigating.
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.”