Police are hunting a man after a mosque in Moray was sprayed with “offensive graffiti” in what has been described as a racist attack.
The incident happened at around 11pm on Monday at Elgin Mosque and included a swastika being painted on to the building.
Officers launched a search of the area and are now trying to trace a man who was seen there at the time.
Detective Inspector Martin MacDougall said: “Crimes of this nature are completely unacceptable.
“There is absolutely no place for it in our communities and a number of inquiries are ongoing to establish who is responsible.
“We are in contact with the mosque and patrols will be increased in the area while our investigation continues.”
He added: “I appeal to anyone with information about this incident to contact police as soon as possible, particularly anyone who was in the area last night and saw any suspicious activity or people.”
The man being sought is described as white, aged between 30 and 40, around 5ft 10in, of a slim build and with short brown hair.
He was wearing blue jeans and potentially a dark hooded top.
Local MSP Richard Lochead said: “I was disgusted and saddened to hear of the vandalism at Elgin Mosque last night just around the corner from my own office.
“This is an abhorrent attack on our local Muslim community in this the month of Ramadan and it is more important than ever that we all stand together and speak out against such senseless and racist vandalism.
“ I hope the mosque can take comfort from the fact that the community is rallying round and uniting in condemnation of this mindless act with people volunteering to clean up the graffiti.”
Councillors from the area also voiced their support for the Muslim community and disgust at the vandalism.
Moray Council convener Shona Morrison said: “Moray is a diverse community with people from many walks of life, different countries, different interests and different religions.
“This type of criminal behaviour must not be allowed to take away from the strong community bonds that bring us all together.”