Van hits pedestrians in London, ‘number of casualties’ reported

A van ran into pedestrians near a north London mosque, killing one man and injuring eight others in an incident that police on Monday said was being investigated by counter-terrorism officers.The secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, Harun Khan, has released a statement saying: ‘Over the past weeks and months, Muslims have endured many incidents of Islamophobia, and this is the most violent manifestation to date’. “There has been one person arrested”, the statement said.Numerous victims are believed to have just left evening prayers at the Muslim Welfare House after breaking the Ramadan fast.Finsbury Park mosque was once a notorious hub for radical Islamists but has entirely changed in recent years under new management.They killed eight people before being shot dead by police.There has been some confusion as to whether the attack took place outside Finsbury Park Mosque or Muslim Welfare House as they are very close together, but it has been confirmed that Muslim Welfare House was the scene of the tragic incident.Heroic bystanders wrestled the suspect, who was clean-shaven with curly hair and wore a white t-shirt, to the floor and pinned him down until officers arrived, at around 12.20am, after he allegedly screamed: “I want to kill all Muslims”.Deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu said: “The attack unfolded while a man was already receiving first aid from members of the public at the scene, and sadly that man has died”.A police forensic tent is erected at Finsbury Park in north London, where a vehicle struck pedestrians in north London Monday, June 19, 2017.Prime Minister Theresa May described the crash as a “potential terrorist attack” and said she would chair an emergency security Cabinet session later Monday.People had been attending prayers in the area as part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.Footage showed injured people lying on the ground and angry crowds surrounding a man believed to be the driver of the vehicle, according to the Independent. The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said he was “totally shocked”.Police have said the driver was a 48-year-old man who was arrested and taken to a hospital as a precaution.The council also clarified that the incident took place outside the Muslim Welfare House, 300 meters away from the mosque.London police closed the area to normal traffic.”We have sent a number of resources to an incident in Seven Sisters Road”.Its former imam Abu Hamza was jailed for life in NY on terrorism charges in 2015.Britain’s terrorist alert level is now at “severe” meaning an attack is highly likely.The incident comes after two deadly Islamist-inspired attacks this year that used vehicles to ram pedestrians – a stabbing spree earlier this month in the London Bridge area and a March attack in which a man drove a rented auto into crowds on Westminster Bridge.That incident came just a week after the Manchester Arena attack, which killed 22 and left more than 100 injured.