A MOSQUES leader has vowed to haul yobs before the police after East Lancs firefighters were attacked for the fourth time in five days.

The youngsters behind one of the attacks have been identified by fire officers.

But Salim Mulla, senior chairman of Lancashire Council of Mosques, said community leaders were determined to find the culprits of all four attacks.

Meanwhile MPs and community leaders today urged thugs to stop the madness.

The incidents over the past week have involved:

  • Fire crews having stones and pieces of wood thrown at them during attacks on Friday and Sunday evenings in Daneshouse, Burnley.
  • A fireman needing hospital treatment after he was hit in the face with a brick, which was thrown through a fire-engine window in Audley Range, Blackburn, on Monday night.
  • Yobs deliberately starting a rubbish fire to lure firefighters before pelting the engine with stones in Home Street, Stoneyholme, Burnley, at 9.30pm on Tuesday.

Fire chiefs insisted that offences of this nature are "isolated" and believe the incidents could be copycat attacks.

According to Home Office statistics there have been just nine attacks on crews in Lancashire over the past two years and 24 incidents relating to verbal abuse.

But Salim Mulla said that he was determined to 'name and shame' the culprits.

Mr Mulla said: "We have had information to suggest it was a gang of Asian youths who attacked the fire-engine in Blackburn.

"The congregation is extremely angry that an incident such as this could have taken place. We want to get to the bottom of it.

"The congregation wants to name and shame the culprits and drag them to the police station.

"I addressed a congregation of more than 2,500 people condemning the attacks.

"I explained attacks of this nature will not be tolerated and said those responsible are not welcome in the mosque. Somebody could have been killed.

"It's sickening."

Burnley MP Kitty Ussher supported community leaders in their efforts to find the yobs.

She said: "There is no justification whatsoever in using violence against our hard-working, dedicated emergency services who put their lives at risk on a daily basis.

"I support the actions that community leaders are taking to try and stamp out what appears to be a new wave of violence.

"I have heard of things like this happening before but never in clusters like this."

Steve Harman, Fire Brigade Union secretary, said: "These attacks are inexcusable and must not be tolerated.

"It can never be part of anyone's job to get a brick or bottle in the head or to be spat at."

Police are warning youngsters who attack firefighters that they will be prosecuted.

A meeting was being held at Daneshouse and Stoneyholme Community Centre last night with police and fire crews to discuss the problem.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service outreach develop-ment officer Naveed Sharif has been working alongside Faz Patel in engaging with youngsters in the area.

Naveed said they had found the culprits behind one of the attacks and the youngsters had apologised.

"They didn't realise the consequences of their actions," he said.

Faz added: "It's about having respect. We are working hard to educate the youngsters and engaging with them on their level.

"Communities are well connected to each other which makes it easy for us to work in different communities and everybody be behind what we are doing."

A police spokesman added: "We are liaising with the fire brigade as to how best to deal with the issue.

"This behaviour will not be tolerated."