Islamic School in Netherlands Damaged in Blast

A bomb damaged an Islamic primary school in the southern Dutch town of Eindhoven on Monday, the latest in a series of attacks on Muslim buildings since the murder last week of a filmmaker critical of Islam.

Police said they were investigating the cause of the blast in the early hours of Monday. It followed a chain of attacks against Dutch mosques since the killing of film director Theo van Gogh last Tuesday by a suspected Islamist militant.

Eindhoven mayor Alexander Sakkers said nobody was hurt in the blast, which damaged the school's entrance and shattered windows in the building and in nearby houses. A local man said the blast was deafening: "It certainly woke us all up," he said.

"Residents of the area are really shocked and many have to contend with damage," Sakkers said in a statement. "We have to do everything possible to keep the community united."

Sakkers said the costs of the damage to the Tarieq Ibnoe Ziyad school were large and he ordered extra police protection for all public Muslim buildings in Eindhoven, which counts five mosques built for the many immigrants who moved to the town to work for consumer electronics group Philips and truckmaker Daf.

Dutch news agency ANP reported that police had arrested a 21-year-old man in the central town of IJsselstein on suspicion of throwing a firebomb at a local mosque.

There was also a failed arson attack on a mosque in the northeastern town of Groningen while another mosque there was daubed with slogans referring to the Van Gogh killing.

At the weekend, mosques in the city of Rotterdam and the towns of Breda and Huizen were attacked but not badly damaged, while fires also broke out at a mosque in Utrecht on Friday.

Pamphlets insulting Islam and showing pictures of pigs heads were plastered on a mosque in Rotterdam, while an Amsterdam immigrants' center was daubed with red paint.


Far-right protesters have marched in Amsterdam and Rotterdam to express their anger at Van Gogh's killing, while the government has urged calm amid fears of retaliation in a country where hostility toward foreigners is on the rise.