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Burned mosque in Texas rebuilt, reopens with $1.1M donations

October 1, 2018
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Sisters Amata Hollas, 81, and Pascha Line, 78, walk away from the Islamic Center of Victoria's new mosque after taking a tour through the building Saturday Sept. 29, 2018 during an open house celebration. (Matthew Westmoreland/The Victoria Advocate via AP)

VICTORIA, Texas (AP) — A South Texas mosque that was torched early last year has reopened thanks to support from around the world and more than $1 million in donations.

The Victoria Islamic Center held an open house Saturday night with ceremonies and tours of the rebuilt structure. Hundreds of people attended the gathering to celebrate the new beginning for the mosque that was destroyed by fire in January 2017.

A federal jury in July convicted a man of arson, explosives and hate crimes in a case that could lead to a 40-year prison term.

Officials say more than 20,000 donors contributed about $1.1 million through an online campaign to rebuild the mosque. Worshippers were allowed back into portions of the complex in August.

Victoria is 110 miles (177.02 kilometers) southwest of Houston.

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