Fire at Southern California mosque; cause is investigated

Coachella (US): A Southern California mosque has been damaged by fire, and its leader says people there at the time believe it was intentionally set.

Flames were reported just after noon yesterday at the Islamic Center of Palm Springs.

According to the Riverside County Fire Department, the fire was contained to the building’s front lobby and no one was injured.

Reymundo Nour, the mosque’s acting imam, says people there described hearing a “loud boom” and seeing flames. He says the mosque had been “fire-bombed.”

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller says the agency will assist local law enforcement in determining the cause of the fire.

The mosque is about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from San Bernardino, where last week a couple that federal officials say was inspired by Islamist extremists killed 14 people.