Vehicle Plows Into Crowd Near London Mosque, Killing 1

  • One person is dead and nearly a dozen injured after a vehicle rammed into pedestrians in north London early Monday.
  • A lone suspect is in custody following the incident, which is being investigated as a potential terrorist attack.
  • The incident occurred near a Muslim community center following evening prayers for Ramadan.

Authorities say one person is deadin north London and at least 10 are injured after a man drove a vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians near a local mosque that had just completed evening prayers.

The incident, which occurred shortly after midnight on Monday, is being investigated as a potential terrorist attack.

Londons Metropolitan Police say a 48-year-old man has been arrested in the Finsbury Park area of north London. Authorities say the man was detained by members of the public at the scene before his arrest, and that he has since been taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Eight people had been taken to the hospital, and two people had been treated at the scene for minor injuries.

The incident occurred near the Muslim Welfare House, a community center down the road from several local mosques,according to the U.K.s Muslim Council.The mosques had been holding evening prayers for the holy month of Ramadan and were likely to have hosted hundreds of worshippers over the past week.

A HuffPost UK reporter witnessed police detaining a second personseveral hours after the collision. Authorities declined to comment on the reason for the arrest.

Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Police officers stand guard near Finsbury Park Mosque. 

Cynthia Vanzella, a woman who lives near the scene, told CNN she heard the collision from her home and went to a window to see people desperately trying to make some signs to a police car.

I saw a lot of people injured, she said. They were helping on the pavement and trying to help them to get to the scene.

The gentleman went straight down this road, people were just conversing, talking, just doing what were doing. And he just came into all of us,a witness told the Press Association.

I was shocked, shocked, shocked, he added. There were bodies around me.

The chairman of the Finsbury Park mosque, Mohammed Kozbar, described the incident as a cowardly attack and said there were many injuries.

There was confusion and dismay among witnesses and bystanders in the aftermath of the incident. Anxious crowds gathered at police cordons surrounding the area to wait for news.

One thing that is clear: This happened after night prayer that us Muslims pray during Ramadan, a witness told HuffPost UKs Paco Anslemi. It was clearly an act that was planned and an act that was done with full intention.

Miqdaad Versi, the assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council, said the incident reflects growing fear within the community about a rising tide of Islamophobia in the country. People have been worried about this for a long time, he told HuffPost.

People are shocked. People are terrified, Versi, who was not at the scene, went on. Its an important time. Its the last 10 nights of Ramadan, and thats why there are such big crowds.

In a statement early Monday, the Muslim Councils secretary general, Harun Khan, condemned the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment following a series of high-profile terrorist attacks in the country.

Muslim communities have been calling for increased action to tackle the growth in hate crime for many years and transformative action must now be taken to tackle not only this incident but the hugely worrying growth in Islamophobia, Khan said.

Neil Hall / Reuters
Forensic officers attend to the scene after a vehicle collided with pedestrians in the Finsbury Park neighborhood of North London. 

This is a terrible incident, British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement. All my thoughts are with those who have been injured, their loved ones, and the emergency services on the scene.

May plans to host an emergency session of her security cabinet on Monday following the crash, the AP reported.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was totally shocked.

My thoughts are with those and the community affected by this awful event, Corbyn said in a statement.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the incident in a statement posted to Facebook early Monday, describing it as a horrific terrorist attack on innocent people.

We dont yet know the full details, but this was clearly a deliberate attack on innocent Londoners, many of whom were finishing prayers during the holy month of Ramadan, Khan wrote. While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the terrible attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge, it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect.

Mondays attack is the latest in a series of incidents in the country involving vehicles hitting pedestrians and comes at a turbulent time for Prime Minister Theresa May.

In March, four people were killed and dozens were injured after a man drove his car into a crowd on Westminster Bridge and then stabbed a police officer. On May 22, a suicide bomber killed 22 people following a concert by Ariana Grande in the Manchester Arena. And in June, men driving a van plowed into pedestrians on London Bridge and then began stabbing people in a popular market, killing eight.

Rowaida Abdelaziz, Eline Gordts and Nick Robins-Early contributed reporting.

Van hits pedestrians in north london

Van hits pedestrians in north london

1
of

5

Police officers attend to the scene after a vehicle collided with pedestrians in the Finsbury Park neighborhood of North London on June 19, 2017.

Ritvik Carvalho / Reuters

More From this publisher : HERE