Van rams worshippers leaving London mosque, killing at least one (UPDATE)

Van rams worshippers leaving London mosque, killing at least one (UPDATE)

08:40 (GMT+4) A van ploughed into worshippers leaving a London mosque on Monday, killing at least one person and injuring several in what Britain's largest Muslim organisation said was a deliberate act of Islamophobia, Reuters reported.

The Muslim Council of Britain said the vehicle hit people as they were leaving the Finsbury Park Mosque, one of the biggest in the country. The attack comes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when people attend prayers at night.

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.

Police said one man was pronounced dead at the scene and that the van driver, 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.

The London Ambulance Service said it had taken eight people to hospital, while two were treated at the scene.

Prime Minister May said her thoughts were with those injured in "this terrible incident". The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said he was "totally shocked".

The Muslim Council said the incident was the most violent manifestation of Islamophobia in Britain in recent months and called for extra security at places of worship as the end of Ramadan nears.

"It appears that a white man in a van intentionally ploughed into a group of worshippers who were already tending to someone who had been taken ill," the council said in a statement.

Police said they were called just after 12:20 a.m. (2320 GMT Sunday) to reports of a collision on Seven Sisters Road, which runs through the Finsbury Park area of north London.

"From the window, I started hearing a lot of yelling and screeching, a lot of chaos outside. … Everybody was shouting: 'A van’s hit people, a van’s hit people'," one woman who lives opposite the scene told the BBC.

05:34 (GMT+4) Several people were injured in north London early on Monday after reports that a vehicle rammed into pedestrians, British police said.

Police said they were called just after 12:20 a.m. to reports of a collision on Seven Sisters Road, which runs through the Finsbury Park area of the city. The Sun newspaper said a van hit a crowd of people near Finsbury Park mosque, Reuters reported.

"There are a number of casualties being worked on at the scene," London police said, describing it as a major incident. "There has been one person arrested."

A Reuters witness saw at least one person being loaded into an ambulance. A number of police and ambulances were in attendance.

The incident followed a series of attacks in Britain.

Eight people were killed and 50 injured on June 3 when three Islamist militants drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed people at nearby restaurants and bars.

On March 22, a man drove a rented car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London and stabbed a policeman to death before being shot dead. His attack killed five people.

On May 22, a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a concert by American pop singer Ariana Grande in Manchester in northern England.

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