U.K. police say gas bombs thrown at immigration center, 1 hurt
Police from around the country descended on the entrance to a migrant processing center on Thursday, arresting five immigrants and detaining them for several hours after Molotov cocktails were hurled at the building with the message “no more Syrians” scrawled on it.
The incident occurred about 50 kilometers (35 miles) east of the British capital of London and involved several incidents.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement that the suspects were arrested at about 9 a.m. local time after reports that gas bombs were thrown at the entrance.
Four were charged with racially motivated crime and one was charged with criminal damage. Police said they would release further details on Friday.
The migrants’ asylum claim to a U.K. immigration center was denied, police said. The five were taken to separate police stations, one of the officers said.
One migrant was arrested after officers were called to the scene to investigate an incident involving a Molotov cocktail, he said.
Molotov cocktails, also known as firebombs, are incendiary devices, typically thrown from a distance, meant to cause as much damage as possible, police said.
Police said the five suspects, all from Syria, were detained around 7:30 a.m. and were held in custody while officers investigated the attack.
“We are working to identify the perpetrators as well as the motive behind the crime,” police said in a statement. Police said they are not treating the case as a terrorist attack, but said there is some intelligence suggesting the motivation was to deter refugees from seeking asylum in the U.K.
“While police investigation the scene they are working to identify individuals responsible for throwing the incendiary device,” police said. “We are working to identify individuals responsible for throwing an incendiary device at the entrance.
“Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident,” police said.
One man with Syrian background and others who had arrived in the U.K. were taken to a