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Police say they are ‘keeping an open mind’ about a suspected arson attack at an Islamic prayer room at Manchester Airport.

The cabin is used by taxi drivers and airport staff for worship. The blaze broke out on Saturday – the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks on New York’s Twin Towers.

Detectives say they are investigating whether there was a religious or racial motive to the blaze.

The cabin, on the airport’s taxi feeder park on Ringway Road, is one of several which have been provided for recreational use by drivers waiting for business.

Two ceremonial garments inside the room were deliberately set ablaze between 10pm and midnight, although the building itself was not damaged.

The site is separate to the five prayer rooms in the airport terminal, which are part of the airport’s multi-faith chaplaincy.

Officers have studied the charred textiles for clues and are reviewing CCTV footage from the scene. The area around the taxi ranks is open to the public and drivers say it would be easy for anyone to get to the area.

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