Van attack near London mosque kills one, injures 8
All of those injured were members of the Muslim community of an impoverished neighborhood. It’s another challenge for Prime Minister Theresa May, as negotiations over Britain’s exit from the European Union are to begin today.
One person was killed and ten others wounded, eight of whom were hospitalized, in an alleged terror attack in which a van collided with people near the Finsbury Park mosque in north London around midnight, the Metropolitan Police of London said Monday.
The Met confirmed that two people sustained minor injuries in the attack and were treated at the scene close to the Arsenal Football Club's Emirates Stadium.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday that the police were treating the incident as a potential terror attack and that she will chair an emergency meeting later on Monday.
Investigations are raising the specter of retaliation after several deadly assaults attributed to Islamist extremists. The Guardian keeps an updated website on what it is known so far.
The Met said a 48-year-old man, whose identity has not been revealed and who apparently was the driver of the vehicle, was arrested at the scene of the incident after being detained by members of the public.
The man was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure, and will be taken to the police station for interrogation after he is discharged, the police said.
The incident took place at 12.20am local time Monday (23.20pm GMT Sunday) after midnight prayers.
Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted on Monday that he was shocked by the attack and expressed his sympathy for the affected community.
"I've been in touch with the mosques, police and Islington council regarding the incident. My thoughts are with those and the community affected by this awful event," added Corbyn, whose constituency includes parts of Finsbury Park.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement that the incident was "clearly an deliberate attack on innocent Londoners".
"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," he added.
He urged Londoners to "remain calm and vigilant" after the incident, which if confirmed as a terrorist attack would be the fourth in three months in the United Kingdom.
MCB Secretary General Harun Khan said in a statement that the incident appeared to be "motivated by Islamophobia" and urged authorities to increase security outside mosques as the end of the holy month of Ramadan approaches.
"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," he said.
"Many will feel terrorized, no doubt be angry and saddened by what has taken place tonight. We urge calm as the investigation establishes the full facts, and in these last days of Ramadan, pray for those affected and for justice."