LONDON, Greater London (AFP) – Counter-terrorism police said Friday they had found evidence of a three-week-old explosion outside a mosque in the West Midlands, one of a spate of similar attacks in recent months.
The Wolverhampton Central Mosque was evacuated on Thursday night following the arrest of two Ukrainian men suspected of involvement in explosions at two other mosques in the area.
Police said debris from an explosion was found on a roundabout, and early indications suggested it had blown up on June 28.
"The debris... has been declared safe and further detailed forensic enquiries will be conducted at the scene throughout the day," the force said in a statement.
Friday prayers were expected to proceed at lunchtime as normal at the mosque.
The find comes after two Ukrainian men aged 22 and 25 were arrested on Thursday as part of an investigation into explosions near mosques in the nearby towns of Tipton and Walsall.
They were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.
"We recognise the impact news of the latest find will have on the communities of Wolverhampton and further afield," said police Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale.
"We're working hard to complete our enquiries so that the area can be returned to normality."
There has been a rise in anti-Muslim incidents in Britain since May, when a soldier was hacked to death on a London street in a suspected Islamist attack.
The explosion at the mosque in Tipton on July 12 coincided with the funeral of 25-year-old Lee Rigby, who was murdered in broad daylight near his barracks in Woolwich, southeast London.