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Fire at North Bali Mosque

Police: Fire at Mosque in Singaraja, North Bali Accidental

(8/12/2012) Beritabali.com reports from Singaraja, North Bali that a devastating fire on Saturday, August 11, 2012, at the Al Asri Mosque located on Jalan Ahmad Yani is being treated by police as unintentional.

According to the head of operations at the Buleleng police station, Police Commissioner Ida Putu Wedana Jati, the fire that destroyed the mosque was not due to sabotage or criminality.

Official assurances that the fire was unintentional were made by the police in Buleleng in the midst of clashes between young men from the two sub-districts of Banyuning and Penguyangan in Singaraja that saw police forced to deploy a water cannon to prevent the conflict from widening.

Wedana Jati said the fire was due to mistakes made by a caretaker at the mosque. Based on preliminary investigations and interviews of witnesses, it was determined that the mosque’s caretaker lit a gas stove that accidentally set fire to curtains in one room of the complex.

The fire that consumed the mosque and momentarily panicked local residents started at around 10:30 am. Efforts by firefighters, aided by community members, localized the damage, preventing it from spreading to other homes in the crowded housing complex.

After the fire, the mosque is no longer useable as a place of prayer by the communities Muslims.