Finsbury Park attack: One killed as van hits worshippers outside London mosque

Jay Anderson
June 19, 2017

The Mayor condemned the "horrific terrorist attack" in which one person was killed and 10 people injured when a van ploughed into pedestrians near the north London mosque in the early hours of Monday morning.

Police said they were called just after 12:20 a.m. (2320 GMT Sunday) to reports of a collision on Seven Sisters Road, which runs through the Finsbury Park area of north London.

Ten people were injured and police said a man died at the scene, though he was receiving first aid at the time and it wasn't clear if he died as a result of the attack or something else.

The driver of the van, a 48-year-old man, was found detained by members of public at the scene, police said.

An eyewitness told the BBC: "Everyone was shouting "a van's hit people".

The chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque says the van crash that hit worshippers was a "cowardly attack" and urged Muslims going to mosques to be vigilant.

One witness described being surrounded by bodies in the wake of the attack outside the Muslim Welfare House, yards from the mosque.

Bloodstains could be seen on the pavement amid the sounds of people screaming.

"We do not know how many were injured or killed, but our prayers are with the victims and families".

Kozbar reportedly said this was "a serious incident, maybe a terrorist incident, which affects a lot of people" in this part of London.

"I saw a man, he was underneath the van", Warfa said, who described how his friends tried to lift the van to free him. He explained to me that the man was very violent, aggressive, and he came over him until the police arrival - but there were other people helping him because the crowd was extremely angry, unhappy, so some people started acting violently too. Imams on Twitter have praised the imam of the mosque, Mohammed Mahmoud, who defended the suspect attacker from the violence of the crowd, until the man could be handed over to the police.

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Arthur played down his own role by adding: "This isn't about me and my career; it's about 15 unbelievable players in that dressing room".

"During the night, ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship", he said.

Prime Minister Theresa May said it was being treated as "a potential terrorist attack" and that she would hold a Cobra committee emergency meeting later on Monday.

It is unclear whether this was the same person in custody or another person in the van who may have fled the scene.

The chaos outside the Finsbury Park Mosque follows three Islamist-inspired attacks over the past three months that have triggered a surge in hate crimes around Britain.

To the north, Manchester was hit by a deadly attack May 22 when a suicide bomber killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert.

The Evening Standard newspaper said the van appeared to have been rented in Wales, although there was no immediate confirmation of this from the authorities. "I want to kill more Muslims", the driver shouted, according to witnesses.

The incident comes just over two weeks after three attackers drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed people at nearby restaurants and bars, killing eight.

But Kacimi said there was no need for the community to panic, because police and government officials have been "very, very supportive".

"I'm totally shocked at the incident at Finsbury Park tonight".

On 22 March, British-born Khalid Masood drove a auto into people on Westminster Bridge near the British parliament, before stabbing police Constable Keith Palmer.

Other reports by BadHub

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