Connect to share and comment

Imam killed in Belgium mosque arson

Axe-wielding man who set fire to mosque was arrested near Brussels.

BelgiummosqueEnlarge
Belgians demonstrate against the construction of a mosque in Lier on June 5, 2011. (Julien Warnand /AFP/Getty Images)

Arson at the largest of four Shiite mosques near Brussels killed its imam late Monday.

An axe-wielding man burst into the Rida mosque in Anderlecht, a suburb of Brussels, set the fire and was eventually arrested, news agencies said.

The mosque’s imam died of smoke inhalation, CNN said.

One worshipper described him to Agency France-Presse as "a person who was loved by everybody -- he was open, well integrated, smiling and happy."

Police have made one arrest man but have not yet released a name, the Associated Press said. The man arrested by police told officers he was a Muslim born in 1978, the news agency said.

Police declined to discuss motive with the media.

An imam hasn’t been attacked and killed in Brussels since 1989, AFP said.

More from GlobalPost: Second mosque torched in West Bank

More from GlobalPost: Chinese cars made in Bulgaria

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/benelux/120313/imam-killed-belgium-mosque-fire