Fire at Southern California mosque; cause being investigated

COACHELLA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California mosque has been damaged by fire, and its leader said Friday people there at the time believe it was intentionally set.

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

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

The cause is under investigation.

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.”

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

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

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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