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French Mosques Allegedly Attacked in the Aftermath of 'Charlie Hebdo' Massacre

One mosque was hit by grenades, another by gunfire, while there was also a reported explosion in a kebab shop adjoining a mosque.
January 8, 2015, 3:55pm
Photo by Claude Paris/AP

Reports are emerging that several mosques across France have been targeted in the wake of Wednesday's massacre at Charlie Hebdo magazine, which left 12 dead.

Local newspapers report that Sablons mosque at Le Mans, northwestern France, was hit with gunfire and grenades late last night. Investigators said a plaster grenade exploded in the mosque's compound while a window was punctured by a bullet, according to Le Maine Libre.

Three other unexploded grenades were also reportedly discovered at the mosque. No arrests have been made.

URGENT Mosquée du Mans visée par plusieurs tirs et un engin explosif — Willy Colin (@Willy_Colin)January 8, 2015


There was also evidence of another possible anti-Muslim attack early Thursday morning involving an explosion at a kebab shop adjoining a mosque in the eastern town of Villefranche-sur-Saône, the AFP reported. A local official called the blast a "criminal" act, and said that police were investigating the incident. There were no reported casualties.

Bernard Perrut, the deputy mayor of Villefranche-sur-Saône, told AFP that he thought the incident was likely linked to the "dramatic situation" in Paris, and that he found the situation "worrying and upsetting."

Explosion devant un snack situé contre une mosquée à Villefranche sur Saône — Sébastien Bendotti (@itelerhonealpes)January 8, 2015

At least one suspect in "Charlie Hebdo" massacre in police custody, police continue to search for two others. Read more here.

French media reported that a third mosque attack at Port-la-Nouvelle in the south of France involved one or more shots allegedly being fired at a Muslim prayer room. The gunfire reportedly rang out at around 8pm last night local time, just an hour after the end of prayer while the room was empty.

— Agence France-Presse (@AFP)January 8, 2015

In photos: "I am Charlie" vigil held in Paris for murdered "Charlie Hebdo" journalists. Read more here.

Meanwhile, France's Front National leader Marine Le Pen tweeted a message to support the reinstatement of the death penalty in the country.

"I would like to offer, to French people, a referendum on the death penalty," she said. "Personally, I think that this policy must exist."

In another tweet, Le Pen said: "It is the Islamists who declared war on France."

The politician later added: "All my support to bereaved police again this morning. Enough is enough."

"Charlie Hebdo" shooting rampage is fourth attack in three weeks to raise terror concerns in France. Read more here.

Follow Sally Hayden on Twitter: @sallyhayd