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More firebomb attacks in New York City

Jan. 3, 2012 at 10:31 AM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- A New York home was hit by a firebomb in what police say may be the fifth such attack aimed at Muslim and Hindu homes, businesses and places of worship.

On Monday a Molotov cocktail was thrown against the Long Island home of Bejai Rai, 77, the New York Daily News reported.

It hit the front window and fell to the concrete, Rai said.

"It sparked, but didn't catch a fire," he said. "We were lucky."

Police said the bottle was similar to ones found in earlier attacks.

Those attacks Sunday night in the borough of Queens targeted a mosque and a small store owned by a Muslim immigrant from Yemen, The New York Times reported.

Before the attacks, a man reportedly had threatened employees at the store.

"You're gonna get it!" he shouted to workers at the 179th Street Deli after he was caught trying to steal milk and a bottle of Starbucks Frappuccino.

The Molotov cocktails in several of the attacks were Frappuccino bottles, police said.

A Hindu temple was also attacked in Queens and firebombs thrown at two houses, including one across the city line in Elmont, N.Y., occupied by a Hindu family from Guyana.

Imam Maan al-Sahlani said the al-Khoei Islamic Center attack occurred at the end of a service. He suggested the attacks on Hindus are a case of mistaken identity.

"No matter what the motivation was of the individual who threw Molotov cocktails in Queens last night, his actions stand in stark contrast to the New York City of today that we've built together," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday.

Police released a surveillance video from the Hindu temple showing a man throwing a lit Molotov cocktail over the temple's iron fence, the New York Post reported.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose family comes from Queens, said he had asked the state police to become involved.

The attacks are "against everything we stand for," he said.

No injuries or serious damages were reported. The attacker used bottles filled with flammable liquid and equipped with wicks.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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