London vehicle hits pedestrians, police say 'number of casualties'
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Jun 19, 2017,
Jun 19, 2017, 12:53
The Finsbury Park mosque was associated with extremist ideology for several years after the 9/11 attacks in the United States, but was shut down and reorganized.
"While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the awful attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge, it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect", he said.
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said it is "too early to say" if the collision is a terror incident.
Video filmed in the immediate aftermath of a van striking worshippers near a London mosque showed a Caucasian man being detained by police.
Someone in the crowd yelled to others not to harm the man while he was taken into custody.
The Counter Terrorism Command is leading the investigation, according to the statement. Eight people injured were taken to three separate hospitals.
Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed the attack is being treated as a terrorist incident. She said a police officer was doing what looked like a "cardiac massage, as if they might have had a bad heart or something".
Resident Cynthia Vanzella said she was in bed when she heard people shouting.
Eight people were taken to hospital, while two were treated at the scene. Muslims now are observing Ramadan, during which they fast from dawn to dusk and engage in intense prayer and feast at sundown.
Britain's terrorist alert has been set at "severe" meaning an attack is highly likely.
London police closed the area to normal traffic.
Police have also denied rumors that a knife was involved.
The crash occurred near the Finsbury Park mosque. Police say no other suspects have been identified or reported.
Jeremy Corbyn, whose constituency includes Finsbury Park, said he was "totally shocked" by the event, the Daily Mirror reports.
The Muslim Council says a van has "run over worshippers" leaving the Finsbury Park mosque.
The council tweeted that its prayers were with the victims.
People had been attending mosques in the area as part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. An advance trauma team from London's Air Ambulance has also been dispatched by auto. The 48 years old driver of the van has not revealed any details of the attack so far.
The area of London where a vehicle hit pedestrians early Monday local time is ethnically diverse and home to a large Muslim community.
A Reuters witness saw at least one person being loaded into an ambulance.
Officers arrested one man after they were called shortly after midnight to the incident on Seven Sisters Road, near Finsbury Park station.
Harun Khan, the head of the MCB, described the incident as the "most violent manifestation to date" of Islamophobia, and called on authorities to do more "to tackle the growth in hate crime".