Fire at California mosque investigated as possible arson

Police are investigating a possible arson attack at a Southern California mosque Sunday, CBS affiliate KFMB-TV reported. A small fire was reported early Sunday at the Islamic Center of Escondido, some 30 miles north of downtown San Diego.

Police said the fire caused damage to the mosque’s exterior and when crews arrived, they found graffiti with a hate message spray painted on a wall.

KFMB-TV said police confirmed the graffiti referenced the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, that killed 50 people at two separate mosques earlier this month.

There were no reports of anyone injured or immediate word on any suspects.

There is a vigil planned Sunday night at the mosque. Organizers said community members would be speaking followed by Muslim prayer. A silent vigil will continue after that, KFMB-TV reported.

Damage to an exterior wall of the Islamic Center of Escondido can be seen on the left side of this photo. KFMB-TV

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