A suspected bomb blew the front door off a Muslim elementary school in a southern Dutch town on Monday, days after a suspected Muslim radical allegedly killed a Dutch filmmaker, police said. No injuries were reported.
Television news footage showed the burned-out entrance of the school, which was empty at the time of the 3:30 a.m. attack. Windows across the street were shattered.
Police suspected it was related to the brutal murder last week of filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a suspected Islamic radical, said spokesman Cees Dekkers in Eindhoven, about 75 miles south of the Dutch capital Amsterdam.
The school sustained substantial damage inside, he said.
The Tarieq Ibnu Zyad Islamic school, said to have links with a mosque that has allegedly been a gathering place for radicals, also suffered a minor attack a year ago. Dekkers said police had visited Islamic schools in the city but had not decided on additional security measures.
Eindhoven Mayor Alexander Sakkers was meeting later with parents of students. “It is essential that we stick together,” he told journalists. “One single person who pulls off such an idiot act ... should not have the result that our society goes to pot in this way.”
Sakkers said Islamic sites will be guarded by police while investigators determine the cause of the blast.
The government had been in contact with local authorities to assess the need for security following Van Gogh’s slaying, said Frank Wassenaar, spokesman for the Internal Ministry. Asked if national authorities would take measures following the school explosion, he said: “There is no indication that local police cannot deal with this themselves.”
Van Gogh’s killing sparked a series of apparent revenge attacks and vandalism over the weekend, including two attempts to burn down mosques. Dutch Interior Minister Johan Remkes has said Van Gogh’s death should not be blamed on the Muslim community as a whole.
Eight suspected Islamic extremists have been arrested in connection with Tuesday’s slaying of Van Gogh, who earlier this year released a film critical of how women are treated under Islam. Among those arrested was a 26-year-old accused of killing the filmmaker, identified as Mohammed Bouyeri.
Although mainstream Muslim groups condemned Tuesday’s killing, it has caused an outpouring of anger in the Netherlands. The killer left a five-page note quoting from the Quran and threatening more attacks against Dutch politicians.