Finsbury Park Mosque: Man Dies as Van Hits Pedestrians
A man has died and eight people have been injured after a van plowed intopedestrians near a north London mosque. The van mounted the pavement and struck a group of people just after themidnight near Finsbury Park Mosque in Seven Sisters Road.
A 48-year-old manhas been arrested.Prime Minister Theresa May said the police were treating it "as a potentialterrorist attack".The Muslim Council of Britain said a van intentionally ran over on theworshippers. Counter-terrorism officers are at the scene, the MetropolitanPolice said.
Many of the victims are believed to have just left their evening prayers atthe Muslim Welfare House after breaking the Ramadan fast.The Muslim Council of Britain said it was a "violent manifestation ofIslamophobia" and called for extra security around the mosques.
The Prime Minister Theresa May will chair an emergency meeting later.The British PM described it as a "terrible incident", adding: "All mythoughts are with those who have been injured, their loved ones and theemergency services on the scene."Extra police are being deployed to reassure communities, especially thoseobserving Ramadan, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said.
The London Mayor has also asked people to "remain calm and vigilant".He said: "We don't yet know the full details, but this was clearly adeliberate attack on innocent Londoners, many of whom were finishingprayers during the holy month of Ramadan."While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like theterrible attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge it is also anassault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom, and respect.
"The van driver was arrested after being detained by members of the publicat the scene following the collision at 00:20 BST.Police said there were no reports of anyone suffering from knife injuriesafter speculation at the scene the driver was armed with a knife.Abdulrahman Saleh Alamoudi said he was among a group of people helping anelderly worshipper who had fallen down when the van swerved towards them.
Video posted online of the aftermath showed a scene of chaos as peopletried to help the injured.One man could be seen giving CPR to a victim in the street while anotherman's head injury was treated with a makeshift dressing.
An eyewitness told how he jumped out the way of the van as it struck.He said: "He just came into all of us. There were a lot of people. We gottold to move straight away."I was shocked, shocked, shocked. There were bodies around me.
"Thank God I just moved to the side. I just jumped. Everyone is hurt.Everyone is actually hurt."Another who lives in a flat on Seven Sisters Road said she saw people"shouting and screaming"."Everyone was shouting 'a van's hit people'."There was this white van stopped outside Finsbury Park Mosque that seemsto have hit people who were coming out of the mosque after prayersfinished.
"She said the road was "backed up" with police cars, ambulance, and fireengines.Some witnesses at the scene - near Finsbury Park Station and the EmiratesStadium - said more than one attacker may have been involved.But the Met said: "At this early stage of this investigation, no othersuspects at the scene have been identified or reported to police, however,the investigation continues.""Our priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries and ensurethose in the most need are treated first and taken to the hospital."Witness Cynthia Vanzella said on Twitter:
"Horrible to watch policeofficers doing cardiac massage at people on the floor, desperately tryingto save them. I just hope they did."