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One killed, 8 injured as vehicle rams into worshippers near London mosque in 'potential terrorist attack'

Police said a vehicle struck pedestrians on a road in north London, leaving 'a number of casualties.'

India TV News Desk, London [Updated:19 Jun 2017, 11:59 AM IST]
One killed, 8 injured as vehicle rams into worshippers
One killed, 8 injured as vehicle rams into worshippers leaving London mosque

A van ploughed into a crowd of worshippers leaving a mosque in north London early Monday morning, killing at least one person and injuring eight others in what Prime Minister Theresa May described as a "potential terrorist attack". The attack took place just after midnight outside the Muslim Welfare House, which houses a mosque, on Seven Sisters road. The site of the incident is close to another mosque near the Finsbury Park on the same road. 

The driver, identified as a 48-year-old man, has been arrested and taken to a hospital.

"The driver of the van - a man aged 48 - was found detained by members of public at the scene and then arrested by police in connection with the incident," a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said. 

"He has been taken to hospital as a precaution, and will be taken into custody once discharged. He will also be subject of a mental health assessment in due course." 

Several hundred worshippers would have been in the area after attending prayers as part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Prime Minister May said police were treating the van incident "as a potential terrorist attack". Earlier she described it as a "terrible incident", adding: "All my thoughts are with those who have been injured, their loved ones and the emergency services on the scene." 

India Tv - A vehicle rammed into worshippers leaving London mosque

Counter-terror police were investigating the incident. The Metropolitan Police said that one man was pronounced dead at the scene and eight others were injured. 

The Metropolitan Police earlier declared the collision as a "major incident" and said that there were "a number of casualties". 

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

Harun Khan, the head of the MCB, tweeted that the van had "intentionally" run over people leaving night prayers held during the holy month of Ramadan. 

According to the Independent, footage of the incident showed injured people motionless on the pavement as angry crowds surrounded a white man believed to be the driver. 

London's transport authority said on Twitter that the Seven Sisters road had been closed due to an "emergency services incident". 

The city's ambulance service said in a statement on Twitter that it had sent "a number of resources" including ambulance crews, paramedics and specialist response teams to the scene. 

"An advance trauma team from London's Air Ambulance has also been dispatched by car," the statement said. 

An eyewitness who lives in a flat on Seven Sisters Road said she saw people "shouting and screaming", the BBC reported. She told the BBC that the van seems to have hit people who were coming out of the Finsbury Park mosque after prayers finished. 

Witnesses said the road was "backed up" with police cars, ambulance and fire engines.

Britain’s terrorist alert has been set at “severe” meaning an attack is highly likely.

Earlier this month, a van veered into pedestrians on London Bridge, setting off vehicle and knife attacks that killed eight people and wounded many others. Manchester was also hit by a severe attack when a bomber killed more than 20 people at an Ariana Grande concert.

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