A description has been released of a man police want to trace after a suspicious mosque fire in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Central Mosque in the Potterrow area of the Scottish capital had minor fire damage to the door and a small bush in the garden after an object was thrown at the building at about 2.10am on Sunday.

Officers are treating the incident as a hate crime.

The man is described as white, in his early thirties, with very short hair.

He was wearing a short-sleeved black top with a white emblem on the front and dark trousers.

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Before the incident, it is believed the man spoke to a group of women in George Square, near the junction with the Meadows, and these witnesses are being urged to come forward.

Police say a number of cars and vehicles are known to have driven past the mosque during the incident and anyone who remembers seeing anything suspicious should call them.

Detective Inspector John Kavanagh said: "Fortunately, no-one was injured as a result of this incident but the consequences could have been far worse had the fire taken hold and spread.

"I would ask that anyone who remembers seeing any suspicious activity around the mosque, or within the Potterrow area, contacts police immediately."

Chief Inspector Mark Rennie, local area commander for south-east Edinburgh, said: "This was a despicable and reckless act which we are treating as a hate crime.

"We have launched a thorough investigation to identify anyone involved and anyone who believes they have information that can assist with our inquiries is urged to get in touch."

Foysol Choudhury, chairman of the Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council, said: "ELREC, as an equality organisation that has been striving to fight any forms of discrimination since 1971, strongly condemns this crime as an attack against our freedom of religion and expression.

"Edinburgh cannot tolerate any action that aims to spread hate and division within its society.

"ELREC would like to uphold Police Scotland's request for everyone who has any information to contact them.

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"ELREC also wishes to offer support to anyone who feels more insecure after this attack."

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or alternatively through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be given anonymously.