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Van rams worshippers near London mosque injuring many, 1 arrested

Van rams worshippers near London mosque injuring many, 1 arrested
Ambulances arrive in the Finsbury Park area of north London where a vehichle hit pedestrians on June 19, 2017. Several people are injured, police said Monday, adding that one person had been arrested. | Photo Credit: AFP

Van “intentionally” runs over people leaving night prayers for the holy month of Ramadan, according to head of Muslim Council of Britain.

LONDON: One person has been arrested after a vehicle hit pedestrians in north London, injuring several people, police said Monday, as Muslim leaders said worshippers were mowed down after leaving a mosque.

Police said in a statement there were “a number of casualties”, adding that they were called to reports of “a vehicle in collision with pedestrians” at 00:20 am (2320 GMT).

“We have been informed that a van has run over worshippers as they left #FinsburyPark Mosque. Our prayers are with the victims,” the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), an umbrella body, said on Twitter.

Harun Khan, the head of the MCB, said the van had “intentionally” run over people leaving night prayers for the holy month of Ramadan.

An AFP reporter could see a helicopter and several emergency vehicles at the scene, which was closed off by a wide police cordon.

Traffic was shut down on a section of Seven Sisters Road, where the incident happened.

“We saw lots of people shouting and lots of people injured,” David Robinson, 41, who arrived just after the accident, told AFP.

MCB deputy head Miqdaad Versi said the incident happened “outside the Muslim Welfare House”, which is on Seven Sisters Road near the mosque.

The London Ambulance Service said: “We have sent a number of ambulance crews, advance paramedics and specialist responses teams to the scene.

“Our priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries and ensure that those most in need are treated first and taken to hospital.”

Police described it as a “major incident”.

In 2015, the mosque was one of around 20 that took part in an open day organised by the MCB to promote better understanding of Islam following Islamist-inspired attacks in Paris.

Despite the change in leadership and new focus on community relations, the mosque received a string of threatening emails and letters in the wake of the Paris attacks.

 

AFP