from the Courier Mail
April 28, 2006
MOLOTOV cocktails were thrown at the home of a Sudanese refugee widow and her seven children in Toowoomba early yesterday morning, heightening racial tensions in the city.
Khamisa Abui and her children, aged 3 to 16, were sleeping at their rented house in Dalmeny St when they heard thumping on the front door.
A neighbour across the road saw the flames just after midnight.
“The flames were a metre high on the steps and the front porch and the door mat was alight at the front door,” he said.
The neighbour, who declined to be named, phoned the fire brigade and ran across the road and banged on the door to wake the family because he knew the children would be asleep.
“I pulled the burning mat away from the door and looked for a hose but I couldn’t find one in the dark,” he said.
“You could smell the petrol fumes, and there were soft drink bottles lying on the steps.”
Once roused, Mrs Abui brought water and the two put out the remains of the crude fire bombs before the fire brigade arrived.
The neighbour said the arson attack on a family who had come from a war zone was malicious racism.
“There were two adults and seven kids in there â€“ it could have been a disaster,” he said.
“Those people are coming from war-torn lands. I just put it down to a brain-dead hillbilly mentality.”
Speaking through an interpreter, Mrs Abui said she and her children had been frightened by the attack and she was mystified as to why her family had been targeted.
“I have no enemies with white people. I have no idea why they don’t like us here. I came here because Australia is a safe place to be,” she said.
Mrs Abui was widowed when her husband was killed in Sudan, and she fled with her children to Egypt where she applied to come to Australia.
Police doorknocked the area yesterday and have appealed for witnesses.
A police spokesman said it would not be possible to say whether the attack had been racially motivated until suspects were questioned.
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.