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Van strikes London worshippers; police say there are casualties

20 June 2017

Imam Mohammed Mahmoud told reporters Monday that he and "other brothers" were able to prevent onlookers from beating up the suspect and held him until police arrived.

London's police commander says the van attack near Finsbury Park Mosque was clearly an attack on Muslims.

In a statement, they said: "We are co-operating fully with the Metropolitan Police investigation and our thoughts are with those who have been injured in this cowardly attack".

Mr Osborne was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and alleged terror offences.

The Muslim Council of Britain said the latest terrorist attack in London was the most violent manifestation of Islamophobia in Britain in recent months, and called for extra security at places of worship.

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Eyewitness Abdul Rahman told the BBC that the driver of the van said that he wanted to "kill all Muslims".

Mayor Sadiq Khan, London's first Muslim mayor, implored the city's residents to show solidarity.

Police said the 48-year-old man who was driving the van has been arrested and taken to a hospital as a precaution. On May 22, a suicide attack killed 22 people and injured almost 60 after an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

British authorities, including Prime Minister Theresa May, and Islamic leaders moved swiftly to ease concerns in the Muslim community following the attack shortly after midnight that injured at least nine people in London's Finsbury Park neighborhood, which is home to a large Muslim population.

The attack was, she said, "a reminder that terrorism, extremism and hatred take many forms and our determination to tackle them must be the same, whoever is responsible". People surrounded the driver and witnesses said the outraged crowd began attacking him. That incident, plus the four attacks, have stretched British authorities and left May's government, which suffered losses in a snap election, reeling. It is too early to state if his death was a result of this attack.

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The scene is just metres from the main railway line linking London with Edinburgh, the main Arsenal Football Club shop and what was the Rainbow Theatre, considered the prestige London concert venue in the 1960s and 1970s.

May chaired an emergency response meeting Monday morning.

"Sending love and prayers to the victims in #FinsburyPark London".

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

Britain's terror alert level is at "severe", meaning security officials believe an attack is highly likely.

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Earlier this month, a van veered into pedestrians on London Bridge, setting off vehicle and knife attacks that killed eight people and wounded many others on the bridge and in the nearby Borough Market area.

Van strikes London worshippers; police say there are casualties