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Van rams worshippers leaving London mosque, killing at least one

19 June 2017 - 56   - 0

(REUTERS) A van ploughed into worshippers leaving a London mosque on Monday, killing at least one person and injuring 10 others in what witnesses said was a deliberate attack on Muslims.

The hired vehicle swerved into a group of people leaving prayers shortly after midnight at the Finsbury Park Mosque, one of the biggest in the country, witnesses said. The attack comes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

"This big van just came and went all over us," witness Abdulrahman Saleh Alamoudi told BuzzFeed News. "He was screaming... 'I'm going to kill all Muslims'."

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 and that the van driver, aged 48, had been detained by members of the public before being arrested. The driver would undergo a mental health assessment in due course, police said.

Eight people were taken 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, in whose constituency the attack took place, 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.

Forensic officers attend to the scene after a vehicle collided with pedestrians in the Finsbury Park neighbourhood of North London

Forensic officers attend to the scene after a vehicle collided with pedestrians in the Finsbury Park neighbourhood of North London, Britain June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

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