Nail Bomb' Near Mosque
Counter-terrorism officers are investigating a suspected nail bomb attack outside a mosque in the West Midlands, Sky sources say.Police were called to Binfield Street in Tipton around 1pm after residents reported hearing a loud bang and seeing smoke.
Officers said the explosion is being treated as a terrorist incident and police found nails and other debris over a fairly wide area.
No-one was injured but a cordon was set up in part of the town, people were evacuated and several streets were sealed off.
The blast was believed to have happened on a disused railway line behind the Kanz Ul Iman Masjid mosque in Binfield Street.
Army and bomb disposal teams including members of the counter-terrorism unit have been at the scene, and police said there was minor damage to the window of one house.
Police spokesman Gareth Cann said whoever was behind the blast "looked to cause serious harm".
He said the army "has been clearing the area to make sure it is safe".
Tipton Green councillor Ian Jones said residents in the area had described hearing a "loud thud", while councillor Syeda Amina Khatun said she was not aware of any previous attacks on the mosque.
"The explosion has gone off on the disused railway line behind the mosque," she said.
"The whole estate has been blocked off. People are surprised that something like this has happened."
In a joint statement, the board of trustees and management committee of the mosque said: "We express our deep shock and utter dismay regarding the incident that has occurred this afternoon.
"We jointly on behalf of the local community condemn this senseless and mindless act. It's a blessing from God that thankfully no-one was injured in the blast.
"We call for calm and strongly urge the community not to let this incident divide us and cause disharmony."
Among the road closures are parts of Sedgley Road East, Dudley Port, Jays Avenue, Tudor Court, Park Lane East, Crompton Road and Victoria Road.
Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area is urged to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
The blast came on the day murdered soldier Lee Rigby was remembered at a private funeral service in Bury, Greater Manchester.
Meanwhile, West Midlands Police are still investigating an explosion which occurred near a mosque in the Caldmore area of Walsall on June 21.
The remains of a home-made explosive device were found on June 22 in an alleyway adjoining the Aisha Mosque and Islamic Centre in Rutter Street, Caldmore.
The earlier incident, in which no-one was injured, forced the overnight evacuation of around 150 people from their homes in the surrounding area.