Suspected arson attack on a mosque in California before Jumma Prayer

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WASHINGTON: A Southern California mosque was damaged by fire Friday, and its leader said people there at the time believe it was intentionally set. CBS affiliate KPSP reported smoke and flames were seen coming from the Islamic Society of Palm Springs at about 12:10 p.m. Cal Fire responded and was able to extinguish the fire in about 35 minutes and no injuries were reported. According to the Riverside County Fire Department, the flames were contained to the building's front lobby. "The Riverside County Sheriff's Department believes this is an intentional act and we are using all available resources to follow up on any leads that are brought to our attention," Deputy Armando Munoz said in a statement late Friday, adding that investigators were asking the public to come forward with information. Reymundo Nour, the mosque's acting imam, said people there described hearing a "loud boom" and seeing flames. He said the mosque had been "fire-bombed." A group of Muslims gathered in front of the mosque in prayer shortly after the fire was contained.(NYT)