Vehicle hits people near London mosque, causing casualties

London police plead for calm after attack at mosque

Vehicle hits people near London mosque, causing casualties

A van ran into pedestrians near a north London mosque, killing one man and injuring eight others in an incident that police on Monday said was being investigated by counter-terrorism officers.

The incident occurred in the Seven Sisters Road area, outside the Finsbury Park mosque.

Heroic bystanders wrestled the suspect, who was clean-shaven with curly hair and wore a white t-shirt, to the floor and pinned him down until officers arrived, at around 12.20am, after he allegedly screamed: "I want to kill all Muslims". If confirmed would make it the fourth since March in Britain and the third to involve a vehicle deliberately driven at pedestrians.

There has been an increase in hate crime reports since the Manchester Arena bombing and the London Bridge attack.

Prime Minister Theresa May described the crash as a "terrible incident".

But Finsbury Park Mosque, an unassuming five-story redbrick building opposite the station, which opened in 1994, has been the area's most famous venue in recent years.

In a statement, the police say they were called to the Seven Sisters Road by reports of collision with pedestrians.

"It appears that a white man in a van intentionally ploughed into a group of worshippers who were already tending to someone who had been taken ill", the council said in a statement.

He added: "I said, 'tell me why did you try driving to kill innocent people?' When he went into the [police] van he made gestures, he was laughing".

Earlier this month on London Bridge, attackers used a vehicle and then knives to kill eight people and wound many others on the bridge and in the nearby Borough Market area.

London Ambulance Service said it had sent "a number of resources" to the scene.

The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, in whose constituency the attack took place, said he was "totally shocked". The incident, which is now being investigated as a potential terror attack, took place just after midnight on Monday, London time.

Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of Finsbury Park Mosque, told The Sun: "Whoever did this, he did it to hurt people and it's a terrorist attack". But it was raided and shut down and later reclaimed by the local Muslim community, who have transformed it into a place which actively promotes better community relations across faiths.

'Our hearts come out to the victims of the #FinsburyPark Mosque Attack'. He complained that the "mainstream media" was unwilling to call the attack a terrorist incident for many hours.

At least two witnesses told Sky News that there were three men in the van, but the Met Police statement seems to directly contradict that, saying no other suspects had been identified or reported to police.

She said her thoughts were with the injured, their loved ones and emergency officials who responded to the incident.

Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House, said Mr Mahmoud's "bravery and courage helped calm the immediate situation after the incident and prevented further injuries and potential loss of life".

The Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Harun Khan, also said worshippers were the specific target. Police man a cordon at Finsbury Park where a vehicle struck pedestrians in London Monday, June 19, 2017.

"The van drove over people who were leaving late prayers".

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