Peru: Church door torched ahead of Pope visit

SOT, Citizen (Spanish): «Look, I could not say that, because we do not know. And maybe it has a coincidence but as it is we cannot really say if it is [an assault]. We cannot accuse anyone for the fact that we do not have proof. It was perhaps a young man or someone who was perhaps playing, we don't know. We don't know because in itself there has been no statement, and the police have only seen... Еще the fire.» The entrance to the Virgen Del Carmen Catholic Church in the Peruvian city of Arequipa was torched on Thursday just hours before the arrival of Pope Francis in Peru. Local police first spotted the blaze and alerted the city’s firemen who extinguished the flames that consumed one side of the two metre high door. Fragments of burnt plastic and fabric were found on the scene and collected by police forensic experts. So far there are no suspects. According to local media, Arequipa authorities believe vandalism to be the cause and not an act of protest against the Pope’s visit. The incident happened days after several churches were attacked and vandalised in Chile last weekend. On Wednesday, Pope Francis was struck by what appeared to be an item of clothing during a mass in Chile’s capital of Santiago. The Pope will be in Peru until Sunday.

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