Van hits Muslims after night prayers

Gladys Abbott
June 19, 2017

One witness said that a van had hit about ten people returning from Finsbury Park mosque.

Islamic organizations have called for more police protection outside United Kingdom mosques as the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaches.

Two worshippers were feared killed, according to the Sun newspaper, but there was no immediate confirmation of this.

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Labour leader and local Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn expressed his shock at what had happened, writing on Twitter: "I'm totally shocked at the incident at Finsbury Park tonight".

Atikur Arhman, 41, from Finsbury Park, said: 'An elderly man who just came from the mosque, he just fainted and people were picking him up when the van he just sped up and ran them over when the guy was one the floor.

"From the window, I started hearing a lot of yelling and screeching, a lot of chaos outside". Eyewitnesses reported seeing police give emergency medical treatment to at least one of the injured. Reuters could not immediately confirm that report.

One man outside the Finsbury Park mosque died at the scene, a van driver was arrested and eight people were taken to hospitals following the early morning incident.

According to a witness, the driver of the van said: I want to kill Muslims.

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She tweeted: "Terror attack outside #FinsburyPark mosque".

The 32-year-old told the Press Association: "There were a lot of people in the street, crossing the street, going to mosque for prayers, for forgiveness, just to pray and go home and eat. Communities will see additional officers patrolling across the city and at Muslim places of worship".

Other witnesses told Sky television that the van had hit at least 10 people.

However, the UK's Counter Terrorism Command is said to be investigating the attack, which occurred just after midnight on Monday.

- Opened in 1994, Finsbury Park Mosque is an unassuming five-story red brick building in residential north London, close to Arsenal Football Club's Emirates Stadium.

Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House, said the man who was arrested had to be rescued by the imam at the centre to stop him being attacked. The suspect has been arrested and charged with attempted murder, said Basu.

"At that moment in time, basically a van swerved into them deliberately", he said, citing a witness at the scene.

"He will also be subject of a mental health assessment in due course". One person was killed and 10 were hurt.

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Britain has been hit by a series of attacks in recent months, including the van-and-knife attack on London Bridge on June 3. In March, a man drove a auto into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and stabbed a police officer to death before being shot dead. "Everybody was shouting: "A van's hit people, a van's hit people", she said.

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