UK: Man held over 2 fire attacks on people leaving mosques

LONDON (AP) — British police said Wednesday that a man arrested on suspicion of setting a man on fire in the central English city of Birmingham has been linked to a similar attack in London last month.

Police arrested a suspect on Tuesday in Birmingham after a man walking home from a mosque was approached and sprayed with an unknown substance. His jacket was set alight and he suffered serious injuries.

The incident followed a similar one on the evening of Feb. 27 in Ealing, west London, when the suspect doused a separate victim in petrol before setting him on fire with a lighter. Both men were leaving the West London Islamic Center when the attack took place. The 82-year-old victim was hospitalized with severe burns to his face and arms.

Police said forces in the two cities were working closely together to establish the full circumstances of the attacks. The suspect, who has not been named, was suspected of two counts of attempted murder.

Counter-terrorism officers were supporting the investigations, but police said officers were “keeping an open mind as to any potential motivation.”