Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Council says van struck people leaving mosque


One person was arrested following the incident near Finsbury Park Mosque on Seven Sisters Road.

One man died and eight people were taken to the hospital, Scotland Yard said.

Witnesses posted on social media about armed police closing off the area and seeing people injured.

London Ambulance Service deputy director of operations Kevin Bate released a statement saying the most seriously injured people were the first to be taken to hospital. Calling it a major incident, the police said that they are investigating if it was accidental or deliberate. Onlookers then tried to physically retaliate against the man, but an imam on the scene protected the suspect until police arrived.

- The Metropolitan police have deployed extra officers to "reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan", according to London's Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The crash occurred at a time when the multiethnic neighborhood was crowded with Muslims leaving the Finsbury Park mosque after Ramadan prayers.

The Finsbury Park Mosque gained notoriety more than a decade ago for sermons by radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was sentenced to life in a United States prison in January 2015 for his conviction on terrorism-related charges.

A New Zealand man has witnessed the carnage outside a London mosque after a van hit several pedestrians. British Prime Minister Theresa May said authorities are treating it as a potential terrorist attack, and called it a "terrible incident".

It happened on Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park, in north London.

"Everyone was shouting "a van's hit people".

A spokesman said: "Officers are on scene with other emergency services". Police said earlier that one person was arrested.

The London Ambulance Service was responding to the incident. Taking to Twitter, MCB posted,"We have been informed that a van has run over worshippers as they left Finsbury Park Mosque".

The police did not describe the incident as an attack, but they did confirm that investigation of the incident is being carried out by the Counter Terrorism Command.

Its former imam, Abu Hamza, was jailed in Britain for inciting violence and racial hatred before being extradited to NY, where he was sentenced to life in prison for terrorism in 2015.

"My thoughts are with those and the community affected by this very bad event".

During the 2016 US presidential campaign - amid the furor of candidate Donald Trump's proposed Muslim ban - Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn invited Trump to visit Finsbury Park Mosque to show him how "multicultural, multifaith" Britain works.

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