Major blaze hits large Muslim building in the Netherlands

Friday, June 9, 2006

Vlaardingen is located in the province of South-Holland, near The Hague

A major fire destroyed a large Muslim building in the city of Vlaardingen, the Netherlands on Friday evening. Firefighters were working to put out the blaze before burning out of control and at one point causing evacuations from nearby buildings.

The fire erupted just before 8 p.m. local time (1900 UTC) and was controlled around 10 p.m. (2100 UTC), according to fire officials.

The blaze was located in a large Muslim building, including a mosque on the first floor. No persons were believed to be injured in the inferno.

Authorities said they were investigating the cause of the fire but suspected the cause was arson. Police officers and fire crews were evacuating the surrounding residents. The fire department called it a "major fire" and all units were called to the scene. Also on the scene were water fire units as the building is located near a river.

Vlaardingen is located about 10 miles from the Hague.

Theo van Gogh

After the murder of Theo van Gogh on November 2, 2004, many mosques in the Netherlands were set on fire.

On November 8, 2004, a bomb exploded at a Muslim school in the south of the country.