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Bangladeshis injured in Athens mosque attack

Unknown assailants tried to burn down a makeshift mosque in Athens, injuring five Bangladeshi migrants who suffered burns and respiratory problems in the attack, police said.

world Updated: May 23, 2009 14:45 IST

Unknown assailants tried to burn down a makeshift mosque in Athens on Saturday, injuring five Bangladeshi migrants who suffered burns and respiratory problems in the attack, police said.

The attackers broke the windows of a basement flat used as a mosque early on Saturday morning and threw gasoline inside before lighting it, a police source said.

Four Bangladeshi men suffered respiratory problems and a fifth was burned, police said. All were initially taken to hospital but later discharged.

The incident followed clashes in Athens between Muslim immigrants and Greek police during protests sparked by allegations that a police officer tore up and stamped on a Koran during an identity check earlier in the week.

Nearly 1,000 Muslims rallied in the city's central Omonia square yesterday in a demonstration organised by leftist, immigrant and anti-racism groups.

Violence broke out at the end of the demonstration as around 100 protesters threw projectiles at police, who tried to disperse the crowd with tear gas.

Over seventy cars and five shops were vandalised and the police arrested 46 people.