1 dead in crash near London mosque suspected as terrorism

Claudine Rigal
Juin 19, 2017

A vehicle hit pedestrians in London and there are "a number of casualties being worked on at the scene", according to authorities. I am grateful to our emergency services, who responded quickly and have been working on the scene throughout the night.

The 48-year-old driver was arrested by the police.

"All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services on the scene", May said, adding that she would chair an emergency response meeting later on Monday.

The crash occurred at a time when the multiethnic neighborhood was crowded with Muslims leaving the Finsbury Park mosque after Ramadan prayers.

The chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, Mohammed Kozbar, has complained that the "mainstream media" was unwilling to call the attack a terrorist incident for many hours.

Prime Minister Theresa May condemned it as a "terrible incident", while opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was "totally shocked" and had been in touch with mosques and police.

Video filmed in the immediate aftermath of a van striking worshippers near a London mosque showed a Caucasian man being detained by police.

Police said the male driver had also been taken to hospital as a precaution and would receive a mental health assessment.

"We don't yet know the full details, but this was clearly a deliberate attack on innocent Londoners, many of whom were finishing prayers during the holy month of Ramadan", he said.

The imam of the mosque, Muhammed Kozba told Anadolu Agency that worshippers who were performing the prayer were "intentionally" targeted.

On June 3, at least eight people were killed and 48 others injured when a van mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge and the attackers then stabbed victims at nearby Borough Market.

Cage, a Muslim human rights group, said there had been "an epidemic rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes" but called for calm "not to inflame an already volatile and distressing situation".

A man has been arrested after a van was driven into worshippers near a north London mosque. It appears from eyewitness accounts that the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia.

The incident comes at a time when emotions are high in England, where there have been several terrorist attacks in recent weeks.

Finsbury Park mosque was once infamous as the stamping ground of hook-handed hate preacher Abu Hamza.

Resident Cynthia Vanzella said she was in bed when she heard people shouting.

Police man a cordon at Finsbury Park where a vehicle struck pedestrians in London Monday, June 19, 2017.

Manchester was also hit by a severe attack when a bomber killed more than 20 people at an Ariana Grande concert.

The Finsbury Park Mosque gained notoriety more than a decade ago for sermons by radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was sentenced to life in a United States prison in January 2015 after being convicted of terrorism-related charges.

Transportation officials said roads were being closed in the area.

"I saw so many of them crying, screaming, trying to get the police and the ambulance", she said.

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