Police in London have launched an investigation into allegations of a racially aggravated assault after a group of men were said to have attacked members of a mosque.
Worshippers were allegedly attacked by a gang armed with bottles and hockey sticks outside the Sri Lankan Muslim Centre in East London as they went inside for iftar.
A bin containing paper was set on fire outside the mosque in Pilgrims Way, East Ham.
Several people incurred minor injuries in the incident on Tuesday evening, but did not require medical treatment.
The Metropolitan Police sent officers to the scene, but no trace of the suspects was found.
The force said patrols in the area have been stepped up in light of the alleged attack and is appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
No arrests have been made and enquiries continue.
“Police are investigating a report of racially aggravated common assault following an incident outside a mosque in East Ham,” the Met Police said in a statement.
“Police were called at 21:06hrs on Tuesday, 19 April, to reports that a group of men in Pilgrims Way, armed with bottles and hockey sticks, had attacked members of the mosque.
“One suspect is said to have set alight some paper in a bin outside the mosque.
“The suspects fled prior to the police’s arrival. Officers searched the area but found no trace of the suspects.”
Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the House of Commons defence select committee, branded the alleged incident "shameful".
Has Ahmed, a Conservative candidate in the upcoming local council elections in Redbridge, East London, called the attack appalling.
"Appalled by this attack on innocent worshipers who were just leaving prayers in Ramadan," he tweeted. "That could have been any one of our family members. Hope those sick individuals are caught and feel the full force of the law."
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Tweet @MetCC, quoting CAD 7482/19APR.
To give information anonymously call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.