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Police arrest four teens over fire at London Islamic school

Grant Falvey / Zuma Press

The fire broke out early Sunday at the Darul Uloom Islamic boarding school in Southeast London, UK.

LONDON -- British police arrested four teenagers late Sunday on suspicion of setting fire to an Islamic school amid fears of anti-Muslim attacks in retribution for the brutal killing of a soldier last month.

The Metropolitan Police said four males, two aged 18 and two aged 17, were being held at a South London police station. Police presence was being increased "around locations that might be at risk," police said.

The fire occurred late Saturday night at the Darul Uloom Islamic High School & College in Southeast London and was quickly extinguished, police said. There were minor damages to the building, which was briefly evacuated.

The incident follows another suspected arson attack at an Islamic center in North London on Wednesday. In that attack, the letters "EDL" -- the far-right group English Defence League -- were found written on the building, but the organization said it was not involved in the fire.

"We should not allow the murder of Lee Rigby to come between Londoners," Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said in a statement. "The unified response we have seen to his death across all communities will triumph over those who seek to divide us." 

Rigby, 25, was killed in broad daylight outside an army barracks in South London on May 22. His death is is being treated as a terror attack because eyewitness accounts and video evidence suggest it was carried out in protest of Western military involvement in Muslim countries.

The gory murder has raised fears of reprisal attacks against Muslims.

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