Aftermath of attack near London mosque

Pauline Gross
June 19, 2017

London Mayor Sadiq Khan called the incident a "horrific terror attack".

The group's general secretary, Harun Khan, said that eyewitnesses saw the van driver hit a number of Muslims.

"People were shouting this is an act of terrorism, even though he's white", another witness, Hillary Briffa, said, referring to the man taken away be police.

The statement said no other suspects at the scene have been identified or reported to police.

"Due to the nature of this incident extra policing resources have been deployed in order to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan, ' the statement read. Our prayers are with the victims".

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

Police said they were called just after 12.20am (2320 GMT Sunday) to reports of a collision on Seven Sisters Road, which runs through the Finsbury Park area of the city. "Eight people injured were taken to three separate hospitals", police said in a statement, adding that two other people were treated for minor injuries. Two of them are seriously injured. The van, driven by a 48-year old man, rammed into a crowd of people as they were leaving the mosque after nightly prayers.

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The Islington borough of North London, of which Finsbury Park is a part, is home to a large Muslim community.

Police officers man a cordon near the Seven Sisters Road at Finsbury Park where a vehicle struck pedestrians in London Monday, June 19, 2017. The mosque was closed and later reorganized and has not been associated with radical views for more than a decade.

Its former imam Abu Hamza was jailed for life in NY on terrorism charges in 2015. The mosque, which today operates largely as a community center, rose to global notoriety in the early 2000s, due to its links with Egyptian-born radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri.

"There has been one person arrested", who was believed to be the driver of the van, police said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says she will chair an emergency meeting Monday morning following a van crash which killed a man outside a mosque. "All my thoughts are with those who have been injured, their loved ones, and the emergency services on the scene".

One witness described being surrounded by bodies in the wake of the attack outside the Muslim Welfare House, close to Finsbury Park mosque. He complained that the "mainstream media" was unwilling to call the attack a terrorist incident for many hours.

Britain's terrorist alert has been set at "severe" meaning an attack is highly likely. She said the north London community is very diverse, with churches of various faiths within blocks of one another. On June 3, a van drove into a crowd of people walking on the London Bridge, followed by knife attacks, leaving eight dead and many wounded.

Other reports by GizPress

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