Several deaths reported as van strikes crowd near mosque in London

Claudine Rigal
Juin 19, 2017

At least one person has died and 10 others were injured when a van drove into a group of worshippers outside a London mosque early Monday in what police are investigating as a potential terrorist incident.

A 48-year-old man has been arrested and is in custody. The mosque called it a "callous terrorist attack".

It was then that a white van came down the street, mounted the pavement and drove into people.

As a result, officers from the local borough are being supported by armed officers and the Territorial Support Group - with the investigation being led by the Counter Terrorism Command.

A van struck several worshippers leaving the Finsbury Park mosque early Monday morning after Ramadan prayers.

Eyewitness Cynthia Vanzella said it was a mixed community, with people from many different countries and cultures.

Warfa said as he attended to the injured his friends pursued the driver who had tried to run away.

Metropolitan Police said officers were called to the scene on Seven Sisters Road at 12:20 a.m. today. "During the night, ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship. My prayers are with the victims and their families", read the statement.

Another witness, Ratib Al-Sulaman, told CNN there was a Muslim majority in the local area.

"Some big van ... crushing the people in the mosque". "There was three people in the van". One suspect has been arrested.

"I'm totally shocked at the incident at Finsbury Park tonight". According to the 2011 Census, half the population in the borough aged under 25 are from nonwhite ethnic backgrounds.

Transportation officials said roads were being closed in the area. "We have sent a number of ambulance crews, advance paramedics and specialist responses teams to the scene".

The incident comes after two deadly Islamist-inspired attacks this year that used vehicles to ram pedestrians - a stabbing spree earlier this month in the London Bridge area and a March attack in which a man drove a rented auto into crowds on Westminster Bridge.

In a statement, the mosque said, 'This is a callous terrorist attack, which coincides with the murdered MP, Jo Cox anniversary.

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

The Finsbury Park mosque has issued a statement condemning mainstream media outlets for initial failures to report last night's attack as terrorism. I think it's significant that they had the reputation historically of being one of the most militant mosques in London.

Finsbury Park is a diverse London suburb situated a few kilometres north of the city centre.

The mosque, which today operates largely as a community center, rose to worldwide notoriety in the early 2000s, due to its links with Egyptian-born radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri.

Abu Hamza, who was the mosque's imam from 1997 to 2003, was later extradited to the United States, where he was convicted of supporting al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists, and sentenced to life in prison in 2015.

The mosque has since undergone a series of high-profile reforms, including the installation of a new leadership board, led by the Muslim Association of Britain. "We all live perfectly fine", she said.

"The gentleman went straight down this road, people were just conversing, talking, just doing what we're doing. I just hope they did".

"I've been in touch with the mosques, police.My thoughts are with those and the community affected by this bad event".

She added: "I saw a lot of people injured".

A man was arrested after "intentionally" driving a vehicle into several pedestrians near a mosque in London on Sunday.

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