"We are assuming it was arson," police spokeswoman Judith Verbaan said of the blaze at Helden on Saturday.

 

"The fire broke out at 6am (0500 GMT) and was brought under control in about 10 minutes."

   

The Netherlands has seen an upsurge in violence since controversial filmmaker Theo van Gogh was shot and stabbed by a suspected Islamist as he cycled to work on 2 November, raising tensions in a country known for its tolerance.

 

Arson attacks

   

More than 10 mosques and churches have been hit by arson attacks since he was killed.

 

Police said on Thursday they had already arrested "several dozen" people in connection with a wave of arson attacks, bomb threats, letters containing suspicious powder and far-right vandalism since the murder.