Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

At least 1 dead after vehicle hits pedestrians near North London mosque

At least 1 dead after vehicle hits pedestrians near North London mosque

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that the case was being investigated as a possible terrorist attack.

Police have, however, denied unconfirmed reports cited by the Evening Standard that a man wielding a knife came out of the van after it mounted the pavement and stabbed at least one person. A man thought to be the driver has also been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Witness Hussain Ali also claimed the suspect was smiling and waving as he brought carnage to Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park, north London.

Two weeks earlier, a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a concert by American pop singer Ariana Grande in Manchester in northern England.

The multi-ethnic neighborhood was crowded with Muslims leaving the house of worship after Ramadan prayers around midnight.

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. "That is why this government will act to stamp out extremist and hateful ideology". We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, denounced the incident as "a horrific terrorist attack on innocent people in Finsbury Park".

Mohammed Kozbar said the attack early Monday morning was no different than the recent attacks on London Bridge and Manchester Arena and said the Muslim community is "in shock".

A 48-year-old man has been arrested and will undergo a mental health assessment.

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The measures were announced following the second meeting of the Grenfell Tower Recovery Taskforce, chaired by the Prime Minister. Tailored bereavement support for families of the victims, those missing or people affected by the tragedy will also be provided.

Police had arrested the driver after the incident and Scotland Yard said there were no other suspects.

An imam guarded the van driver who mowed down Muslim worshippers until the police arrived, telling a crowd: "Do not touch him".

Adil Rana, 24, told the Press Association that several people were on the ground in the wake of the attack.

Police officers arrived at Pontyclun Van Hire just after 07:30 BST on Monday.

In a statement this morning, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) stated that it believed the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia, and called for security to be tightened around mosques.

"Extra officers are on duty in the area to help reassure the local community", she said.

- Investigation of the incident is being carried out by the Counter-Terrorism Command. "Our priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries and ensure those in the most need are treated first and taken to hospital", he said.

London Ambulance Service deputy director of operations Kevin Bate said: "We have sent a number of ambulance crews, advance paramedics and specialist responses teams to the scene".

Security Minister Ben Wallace said that Arkman was not known to security services before the attack.

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