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London van assault: One dead as police investigate incident as terrorism

The man suspected of mowing down a crowd exiting Ramadan prayers at a London mosque early Monday was captured on video blowing a kiss at bystanders as he was hauled off to a hospital for a psychological well being analysis.

At least one particular person was killed and 10 others have been injured within the assault, which authorities have been treating as a terrorist assault.

A 48-year-old man was arrested within the collision with pedestrians outdoors the Muslim Welfare House, Metropolitan police mentioned. People on the scene shouted at him: “Why did you do this? Why?”

The incident occurred outdoors the Finsbury Park Mosque shortly after midnight after Ramadan prayers. Police mentioned the entire injured have been members of the Muslim neighborhood. Muslim leaders decried the collision as a hate crime and requested the general public to remain calm.

Police mentioned eight of the injured have been taken to a few hospitals and two suffered minor accidents and have been handled on the scene.

Witnesses reported seeing not less than one particular person receiving emergency coronary heart therapeutic massage. Police mentioned that particular person was the lone dying within the incident, nevertheless it was unclear if it was the van that precipitated the dying.

A pacesetter of the Muslim Council of Britain known as for additional safety at mosques in mild of the obvious assault. The group’s normal secretary, Harun Khan, described the incident as a hate crime towards Muslims.

“During the night time, bizarre British residents have been set upon whereas they have been going about their lives, finishing their night time worship,” he mentioned. “It seems from eyewitness accounts that the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the primary Muslim to serve in that place, mentioned additional police could be deployed. He known as the incident a “horrific terrorist assault.”

Video filmed within the quick aftermath confirmed a Caucasian man being detained by police. Someone within the crowd yelled to others to not hurt the person whereas he was taken into custody, based on AP.

The chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque mentioned the van crash that hit worshippers was a “cowardly assault” and urged Muslims going to mosques to be vigilant.

Mohammed Kozbar mentioned the Muslim neighborhood is “in shock.” He complained that the “mainstream media” was unwilling to name the assault a terrorist incident for a lot of hours.

London police closed the world to regular site visitors. A helicopter circled above the world as a big cordon was established to maintain motorists and pedestrians away.

Witnesses instructed British media that the van appeared to have veered off the street and hit folks deliberately. They additionally mentioned two males jumped out of the van and fled the scene, however police mentioned the suspect was just one man and the investigation continues to be ongoing.

Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim group, mentioned that based mostly on eyewitness experiences, it appears to be a “deliberate assault towards harmless Muslims.”

Prime Minister Theresa May described the crash as a “potential terrorist assault” and mentioned she would chair an emergency safety Cabinet session later Monday.

Labour Party chief Jeremy Corbyn mentioned in a tweet he was shocked by the incident.

She mentioned her ideas have been with the injured, their family members and emergency officers who responded to the incident.

Britain’s terrorist alert has been set at “extreme,” which means an assault is extremely possible.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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