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London attack: Vehicle hits pedestrians outside mosque

19 June 2017

Mr Mohammed Shafiq, Chief Executive of the Ramadhan Foundation said: 'I utterly condemn the senseless and evil van attack against Muslim worshippers outside the Finsbury Park Mosque in London.

"Over the past weeks and months, Muslims have endured many incidents of Islamophobia and this is the most violent manifestation to date".

British Prime Minister Theresa May described the situation as a "terrible incident", the Guardian said.

Police said they were called just after 12:20 am Sunday to reports of a collision on Seven Sisters Road, which runs through the Finsbury Park area of the city.

The incident occurred when Muslims were returning after the night prayer.

Eight people injured were taken to three separate hospitals; two people were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

A 48-year-old man has been arrested after he was reportedly restrained by members of the public who called police.

Van Hits Worshippers At North London Mosque
Mohammed Kozbar , chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque , called the incident a "cowardly attack" on worshippers. Local police officers arrived on the scene, supported by armed police and the Territorial Support Group.

The incident draws parallels from the recent terror attacks in London.

He said: 'Whoever did this, he did it to hurt people and it's a terrorist attack.

Several worshippers were in the area after attending Ramzan prayers and are believed to be among those injured, according to eyewitnesses and reports. His attack killed five people.

A leader of the Muslim Council of Britain has called for extra security at mosques after a van struck worshippers leaving prayers at the Finsbury Park mosque.

"I've been in touch with the local mosques, police and Islington council regarding the incident".

The man, who did not want to be named, said: "The gentleman went straight down this road, people were just conversing, talking, just doing what we're doing".

He added: "I said, 'tell me why did you try driving to kill innocent people?' Everybody was shouting: "A van's hit people, a van's hit people", she said.

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Speaking to the media, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: "No matter what the motivation proves to be, and we are keeping an open mind, this is being treated as a terrorist attack and the Counter Terrorism Command is investigating".

On his Facebook page, Khan at the time called on Londoners "to pull together, and send a clear message around the world that our city will never be divided by these ugly individuals who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life". "One has been arrested and two ran away", he added.

Witnesses told news outlets that the van appeared to accelerate when it neared pedestrians leaving the Muslim Welfare House near the Finsbury Park Mosque in London.

London' police force have declined to explain why the person charged with attempted murder in the attack on pedestrians outside the Finsbury Park mosque was not immediately charged in connection with a man who died at the scene. He's "been taken to hospital as a precaution", where he'll receive a mental health assessment, according to the statement.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "My thoughts are with all those affected by the appalling incident at Finsbury Park. It's a very strong Muslim community in this area and what's happening today is I think the people must be extremely, extremely sad", Al-Sulaman said.

During Ramadan - the name of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and the holiest time of their year - Muslims fast daily from dawn to dusk and focus on prayer, purification and acts of charity.

She said the road was "backed up" with police cars, ambulance and fire engines.

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Further details were not immediately available.