A man has been arrested after a van struck pedestrians near a mosque in north London, leaving at least one person dead and others injured.
The incident happened when the white vehicle left Seven Sisters Road at Finsbury Park and mounted the footpath, colliding with a crowd of people. Police said it occurred at 12.20am London time (9.20am AEST). The area was unusually crowded as people had been attending mosques as part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Counter-terrorism police are investigating the London van incident, authorities say.
One fatality confirmed
London police say one man has been pronounced dead at the scene of the north London mosque attack. Eight patients have been taken to hospital, they say.
They say there are no immediate reports of anyone suffering knife injuries. The van driver, 48, will be subject to a mental health assessment. The investigation is being undertaken by the British Police’s counter terrorism command.
‘Fatalities’ in London incident
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) says about three or four people have been killed and seven others wounded in a midnight attack near a mosque in north London.
Miqdaad Versi, Assistant Secretary General of the MCB, said on his twitter account that about three or four Muslim worshippers were hit and killed by a van after leaving the religious services held at the Muslim Welfare House, close to the Finsbury Park mosque.
The secretary general of the Council, Harun Khan, claimed in another tweet that the attack was intentional.
British authorities have yet to announce the number of casualties in the attack.
Counter-terrorism police had joined regular police officers looking into the incident, the Guardian newspaper reported.
PM issues statement
British Prime Minister Theresa May says her thoughts are with all those injured after a van rammed into worshippers leaving a mosque.
“This is a terrible incident,” May said in an emailed statement. “All my thoughts are with those who have been injured, their loved ones, and the emergency services on the scene.”
‘I’m going to kill all Muslims’
A man believed to be involved in the incident screamed “I’m going to kill all Muslims” before he was tackled to the floor, according to a witness.
Abdulrahman Saleh Alamoudi said he was among a group of people helping an elderly worshipper who had fallen down, perhaps because of the heat, when the van swerved towards them.
He told BuzzFeed News: “This big van just came and went all over us. “I think at least eight or 10 people got injured. Luckily I managed to escape. And then the guy came out of his van and I got him.
“He was screaming, he was saying, ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims, I’m going to kill all Muslims’. He was throwing punches.
“Then we managed to get him on the floor. Then he was saying, ‘Kill me, kill me’. I said, ‘We are not going to kill you. Why did you do that?’ He wouldn’t say anything.”
A witness told the BBC at least three people were seriously injured. “From the window, I started hearing a lot of yelling and screeching, a lot of chaos outside. … Everybody was shouting: ‘A van’s hit people, a van’s hit people’,” a woman who lives opposite the scene told the BBC. “There was this white van stopped outside Finsbury Park mosque that seemed to have hit people who were coming out after prayers had finished. I didn’t see the attacker himself, although he seems to have been arrested, but I did see the van.”
Britain’s terrorist alert has been set at “severe” meaning an attack is highly likely.On May 22, a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a concert by American pop singer Ariana Grande in Manchester in northern England.
On March 22, a man drove a rented car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London and stabbed a policeman to death before being shot dead. His attack killed five people.
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