Sydney: Pro- and anti-Islamic groups on Friday held protests outside a mosque in Australia's Sydney city, a week after a 15-year-old teenager fatally shot a police employee in the area.
The riot squad and mounted police maintained an exclusion zone to keep the two groups at opposite ends of the block.
On one side, a small anti-Islamic group of about 20 people gathered calling for the mosque to be shut down. Metres away, the second group of about 50 people stood with signs supporting the Muslim community.
Several other members of the mosque had their homes raided and four men were arrested this week by police investigating the shooting. An 18-year-old remains in custody and is being questioned by police.
A week after the murder, the area saw a heavy police presence as a handful of demonstrators gathered to denounce the shooting and chant anti-Muslim slogans, with some demanding closure of the mosque.
Around 75 police officers and mounted police created a 100m exclusion zone outside the mosque as police helicopters watched from overhead.
Police Superintendent Wayne Cox said: "We certainly support the right of people to express their views, but after saying that, we are also here as a law enforcement agency and we expect people to abide by the law of the land.
"I mean we will take action against those who are violent or muck up."
Initially there were only three protesters and a dog although this later grew slightly to 15, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Farhad Jabar had on October 2 shot dead police accountant Curtis Cheng outside the New South Wales Police headquarters.
Police said Jabar went to the Parramatta Mosque where he changed into a black robe before carrying out the attack, ABC reported.
Officers shot dead Jabar.