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N.Y. police probe attacks on mosque, house that serves as Hindu temple

From Marina Landis, CNN
updated 6:03 PM EST, Mon January 2, 2012
The attacks resulted in damage but no injuries, the New York Police Department said.
The attacks resulted in damage but no injuries, the New York Police Department said.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Video shows a person hurling something at a house that acts as Hindu temple
  • An Islamic center official says 2 "Molotov bombs" were thrown at the center's front door
  • A bodega, also in Queens, was similarly targeted on Sunday night, officials say
  • The attacks "go against everything we stand for," Gov. Cuomo says

(CNN) -- Video released Monday shows a person throwing a Molotov cocktail toward a residence in New York City that also serves as a Hindu temple in one of three such attacks reported by police in the city.

The other two targets on Sunday night were an Islamic center and a bodega, all of them in the Queens borough of the city, authorities said Monday.

In a fourth incident, a fire damaged part of a house, but it was too early to tell whether it was a result of a Molotov cocktail and whether it was related to the other incidents, the New York Police Department said.

No one was injured in any of the incidents, according to officials.

Two video clips that were released Monday afternoon depict the scene around the residence that also functions as a Hindu temple. One shows a car slowing down, while another shows a person hurling a single, flaming object over a fence and toward the building. A fire can then be seen in the residence's front yard.

An official at the mosque that was targeted, the Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center, described how about 75 community members were heading out of the center when some spotted a fire and a light near the front door. They then found "two Molotov bombs" -- broken bottles containing flammable liquid.

"Thank God, nobody was injured and we're OK," said Maan Al-Sahlani, minister of religion at the center, which is located along the Van Wyck Expressway. "It's not major damage -- maybe because of the rain, maybe because our people tried to put down the fire."

This was the first such attack on the Islamic center, which opened in 1989, according to Al-Salhani. While he admitted that some are worried, he did not blame anyone and noted that Muslims weren't the only ones attacked.

"Really, we don't accuse any party or any religion or any people," Al-Sahlani said. "We just talk to the police department (and) they are working very hard to find out what's going on ... and hopefully they will get (the perpetrator or perpetrators) soon."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo condemned the attacks in a statement Monday, saying such acts "go against everything we stand for as New Yorkers and Americans."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations called for police to increase security around mosques.

"Attacks on our nation's houses of worship must be condemned by all Americans and should be investigated and prosecuted using all available law enforcement resources," said Ibrahim Hooper, the national communications director for CAIR.

An investigation is ongoing.

CNN's Brian Vitagliano contributed to this report.

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