Van rams worshippers leaving London mosque, injuring 10
A van has called on faithful who left a mosque in London on Monday, injuring 10 people in what witnesses said were a deliberate attack on Muslims.
A man who was already receiving first aid on the spot before the vehicle is driven to the pedestrian died but police said it was unclear whether his death was directly related. Eight others are hospitalized, two in very serious condition.
The incident was treated as a potential terrorist attack, said Prime Minister Theresa May, who, if confirmed, will make the fourth since March in Britain and the third to establish a pedestrian-vehicle driven deliberately.
“It did not have all the hallmarks of a terrorist incident,” said Neil Basu, senior national coordinator for the anti-terrorism police. “It was an attack on London and all Londoners.”
Shortly after midnight, the leased vehicle has been moved to a group of people coming out of prayers at the mosque in Finsbury Park, one of the largest in the country, witnesses said. The attack occurred during the holy month of Ramadan.
“This big truck comes and goes on all sides,” Abdulrahman Saleh Alamoudi told BuzzFeed News. “He (the driver) was shouting …” I’m going to kill all the Muslims. ”
Police said the driver of the suspect van, 48, was detained by members of the public before being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
“I want to thank the people who helped the police to arrest the man and worked with the officers to quietly and quickly put us in our custody,” Basu said. “His voice was commendable under the circumstances.”
Eight people were transferred to the hospital and two were taken care of in the place. Usain Ali, 28, who was near the mosque at the time, said he heard a lightning strike and ran for his life.
“When I looked back, I thought it was a car accident, but people were screaming, screaming and I realized that it was a man who chose to terrorize people to pray,” he told Reuters. “He chose exactly the time when people pray, and the mosque is too small and crowded, while some pray outside.”
The attack comes at a time of political turmoil in Britain, while in May, weakened by the loss of its parliamentary majority in the elections on June 8, it plunges into divorce talks with the European Union.
She made strong criticism for her response to a fire in a London tower last Wednesday that killed at least 58 people and her security record after a series of attacks attributed to Islamic militants in recent months.
“All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and emergency services on the scene,” May said, adding that she would preside over an emergency response meeting later Monday.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said additional police were deployed to reassure communities, particularly those who observe Ramadan, who described the attack as “an attack on all our common values of tolerance, freedom, and respect.”
Labor opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, the constituency of the attack, said he was “totally shocked.”
The incident comes just over two weeks after three Islamist militants took pedestrians to the London Bridge and stabbed people in the area’s restaurants and bars, killing eight people.
It also stems from a suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester, Northern England, in May, in which 22 died, while in March a man drove a rented car at pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London and stabbed To a policeman to death before being shot. His assault killed five people.