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One dead as van rams pedestrians near London mosque

A man has died and eight people have been injured after a van ploughed into pedestrians near a north London mosque

19 June 2017, 8:06am
Police officers attend to the scene after a vehicle collided with pedestrians in the Finsbury Park neighbourhood of North London
Police officers attend to the scene after a vehicle collided with pedestrians in the Finsbury Park neighbourhood of North London
A van ploughed into worshippers leaving a London mosque on Monday, killing at least one person and injuring eight other people in what Britain's largest Muslim organisation said was a deliberate act of Islamophobia.

The van mounted the pavement and struck a group of people just after midnight as they were leaving Finsbury Park Mosque in Seven Sisters Road, one of the biggest in the country, the Muslim Council of Britain said. The attack comes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when people attend prayers at night.

The 48-year-old driver of the van was detained by members of the public and then arrested by police. He would undergo a mental health assessment in due course, police said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said police had confirmed it was being treated as a potential terrorist attack and said she would chair an emergency response meeting later on Monday.

"All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services on the scene," she said.

Police said one man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The London Ambulance Service said it had taken eight people to hospital, while two were treated at the scene.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said extra police had been deployed to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan, describing the attack as "an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect".

The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said he was "totally shocked".

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

The Muslim Council said Monday's attack was the most violent manifestation of Islamophobia in Britain in recent months and called for extra security at places of worship.

"It appears that a white man in a van intentionally ploughed into a group of worshippers who were already tending to someone who had been taken ill," the council said in a statement.

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