Arson damages Muslim prayer room on French island

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Associated Press

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 9 at 10:32 AM

PARIS (AP) — France's interior ministry says an arsonist has partially destroyed a Muslim prayer room in the Mediterranean island of Corsica's capital city.

A ministry statement said racist inscriptions were found Monday on the front of the building housing the prayer room in Ajaccio after it was damaged in the early morning fire.

French Muslim leaders have voiced fear of renewed stigmatization following March attacks that killed seven people in southern France that were attributed to an Islamist who claimed al-Qaida links. Mohamed Merah was shot dead by police.

Rivals of conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy in presidential elections starting April 22 claim a recent sweep of terror suspects is an electoral ploy.

Interior Minister Claude Gueant said Monday he wants the arson suspect quickly found.

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