Bomb disposal team called to mosque
Bomb disposal experts have been called to a mosque after the discovery of a suspicious item.
West Midlands Police said Army experts had ordered the evacuation of almost 40 homes in the vicinity of the place of worship in Rutter Street, Walsall.
A police spokesman confirmed that officers were alerted to the suspicious item at 10.45pm on Saturday night after it was found by a member of the public.
The spokesman said the item was found in the grounds of the mosque by the member of the public and was then taken inside the building.
Stressing that the evacuation of homes was a "precautionary and temporary" measure, the spokesman added: "Officers were immediately dispatched and cordoned off an area around the building.
"Army bomb disposal experts are currently at the scene and have this morning ordered the evacuation of around 39 homes in the immediate vicinity of the mosque. People in the affected area and who are unable to make alternative arrangements are being taken to Walsall Town Hall, where they will be cared for. Officers are continuing to work hard to establish what the item is and how it got there."
Meanwhile, local officers remain at the scene and are talking to residents to keep them up-to-date with the incident and offer reassurance.
Officials from Walsall Council are also working closely with the emergency services to support local people and minimise disruption in the area.
A 40-metre section of Rutter Street, in the Caldmore area of Walsall, remained cordoned off and two uniformed Army personnel were at the scene.
Police investigators were also still outside the Aisha Mosque and Islamic Centre, including one officer wearing a blue full-length forensic suit, who could be seen taking photographs of areas of interest near the building.