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ARIZONA

Mosque targeted in ‘acid bomb’ attack

PHOENIX — Police in Arizona said two men tossed a bottle filled with acid at a Phoenix area mosque early Monday, splashing a caustic chemical near a Muslim cleric involved in a high-profile discrimination suit.

A Glendale Police Department spokesman said two men driving in a red car threw a soda bottle filled with acid and a reactant at the Albanian American Islamic Center of Arizona, in Glendale, west of Phoenix, about 1 a.m. Monday.

The bottle, which contained pool cleaner and strips of tin foil, burst about 20 to 25 feet away from Imam Didmar Faja and another mosque official. Neither man was injured, Sgt. Jim Toomey said.

“We are treating it as a hate crime. We are taking it very seriously,” he said.

Imam Faja is one of six Muslim clerics known as the “Flying Imams” who are bringing a suit against US Airways claiming discrimination in being removed from a Minneapolis-to-Phoenix flight last November.

FLORIDA

Town bans cop’s boots after crash

TRENTON — A police officer who crashed his car into a convenience store when his cowboy boot slipped off the brake said yesterday that he was embarrassed and not opposed to a new department ban on the smooth-soled footwear.

“They had leather soles and when I hit the brake, my foot slipped off and hit the accelerator. It was my fault,” said Michael Herko, one of two full-time officers in this rural northern Florida town.

Officer Herko, 62, said he was pulling into the store when his squad car crashed Sunday night. The 40-year police veteran was wearing a type of cowboy boots called ropers.

As a result of the crash, police Chief Bill Smith banned cowboy boots for officers on duty.

LOUISIANA

Population adjusted for New Orleans

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