Explosion in a church in California

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An explosion rocked a Baptist church in California, and police are investigating, NBC News reported Saturday, Jan. 23.

The incident happened early Saturday morning at a church in El Monte, a suburb of Los Angeles. According to the preliminary version, an improvised explosive device went off in the church. Glass in the building was shattered. In addition, unidentified people had previously painted offensive language on the walls of the building.

After the explosion, a fire broke out in the church, and there was no information about injuries. The FBI and local authorities are involved in the investigation.

The Los Angeles Times reports on protests that have taken place in recent weeks over statements made by church representatives against the LGBT community. An online petition to the mayor of El Monte demanding that the church be removed from the city gathered more than 14,700 signatures. Shortly before the incident, a priest went to the police after receiving a message on social media threatening to set fire to the church.