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Police treating London mosque van attack as terror incident

19 June 2017 15:54 1107
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Police treating London mosque van attack as terror incident

LONDON. KAZINFORM United Kingdom police confirmed Monday that an attack outside a London mosque where one man died and another 10 people were injured was being treated as a terror incident, according to EFE.

Just after midnight, a man plowed a van into a group of Muslim worshippers on who had left a prayer service at a mosque in the diverse Finsbury Park neighborhood in north London.

Speaking to the press, London Metropolitan Police 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."

Basu said one man was pronounced dead at the scene, although it was too early to confirm whether he was killed as a result of the terror attack, as reports suggest he had been receiving first aid from members of the public at the time of the incident.

Another eight people were hospitalized and two others were treated at the scene, Basu said.

"All the victims were from the Muslim community," he added.

The Met confirmed that two people sustained minor injuries in the attack and were treated at the scene close to the Arsenal Football Club's Emirates Stadium.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said earlier on Monday that the police were treating the incident as a potential terror attack and that she would be chairing an emergency meeting.

The Met said a 48-year-old man, whose identity has not been revealed and who apparently was the driver of the vehicle, was arrested at the scene of the incident after being restrained by members of the public.

The man was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure and is to be taken to the police station for interrogation after he is discharged, the police said.

The incident took place at 12:20 am local time on Monday (23:20 pm GMT Sunday) after midnight prayers.

The opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted on Monday that he was shocked by the attack and expressed his sympathy for the affected community.

"I've been in touch with the mosques, police and Islington council regarding the incident. My thoughts are with those and the community affected by this awful event," added Corbyn, whose constituency includes parts of Finsbury Park.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement that the incident was "clearly a deliberate attack on innocent Londoners."

"While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the terrible attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect," he added.

He urged Londoners to "remain calm and vigilant" after the incident, which if confirmed as a terrorist attack would be the fourth in three months in the United Kingdom.

Muslim Council of Britain Secretary General Harun Khan said in a statement that the incident appeared to be "motivated by Islamophobia" and urged authorities to increase security outside mosques as the end of the holy month of Ramadan approaches.

"Muslim communities have been calling for increased action to tackle the growth in hate crime for many years and transformative action must now be taken to tackle not only this incident but the hugely worrying growth in Islamophobia," he said.

"Many will feel terrorized, no doubt be angry and saddened by what has taken place tonight. We urge calm as the investigation establishes the full facts, and in these last days of Ramadan, pray for those affected and for justice."


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