A huge explosion has rocked Tipton, a town in the Sandwell borough of the West Midlands, England, close to the area’s Islamic place of worship, local media reported.
Panicked residents in Tipton reported finding nails and debris scattered close to the mosque shortly after the blast shook the area just after 1pm, British media reported.
Counter-terrorism police are investigating a suspected nail bomb attack at a mosque, according to reports.
Locals were evacuated from their homes and dozens of worshippers – who had been heading to Friday prayers in the first week of the holy month of Ramadan – had to be turned away.
They said the explosion came from a nail bomb planted in the car park at Kanz-ul-Iman Central Jamia Mosque in Binfield Street.
Rai Khan, who works in an office across the road from the mosque, described the noise which shook the building as like “being in a war zone”.
“I heard the nail bomb go off. There was one hell of an almighty bang”, he said, adding “it shook my office and really made me jump.
“There were nails strewn all over the place, I am amazed it didn’t kill anybody”, Rai Khan said.
“The windows to the mosque were all smashed up. It was like a war-zone.
“It was placed in the main car park during Friday prayers, it was obviously put there with that in mind”, he added.
A West Midlands Police spokesperson confirmed counter-terrorism officers had been dispatched to the scene.
He said: “Police have been called to Binfield Street in Tipton this afternoon following reports of a loud bang.
“Officers were called at 1.06pm and are currently at the scene.
“A cordon has been set up and the immediate area is being evacuated as a precautionary measure while police investigate what caused it.
“There are no reports of any injuries to anyone at this time.
“An investigation is being led by the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit and it is being treated as a terrorist incident.”