LONDON (AP) — Detectives in England are investigating an attack in which a man was set on fire as he walked home from a mosque, police said Tuesday. A suspect has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
The West Midlands Police force said the victim was walking home in the central city of Birmingham on Monday when he was approached by a man who sprayed him with an unknown substance, “and then his jacket was set alight, causing burns to his face.”
The victim is hospitalized with serious but not life-threatening injuries, police said.
Chief Superintendent Richard North said police were “keeping an open mind to the motive of the attacker” and that a counterterrorism police unit with “specialist capabilities” was supporting the investigation.
“This is a really serious incident, as I have said, and we are using all the resources that are available to us at this time, and that does include the Counter-Terrorism Unit,” North said.
North said police were working to establish whether there is a link to a similar incident in London. The Metropolitan Police force has said that an 82-year-old man was set alight as he left the West London Islamic Center on Feb. 27.
Police are not currently treating the London incident as terror-related.