London: One man was killed and eight people hospitalised when a van ran into pedestrians near a mosque in north London in an incident that is being investigated by counter-terrorism officers, police said on Monday. The 48-year-old male driver of the van “was found detained by members of the public at the scene and then arrested by police,” a police statement said.
“We have been informed that a van has run over worshippers as they left #FinsburyPark Mosque. Our prayers are with the victims,” the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), an umbrella body, said on Twitter.
Harun Khan, the head of the MCB, said the van had “intentionally” run over people leaving night prayers for the holy month of Ramadan.
An AFP reporter could see a helicopter and several emergency vehicles at the scene, which was closed off by a wide police cordon.
Traffic was shut down on a section of Seven Sisters Road, where the incident happened.
“We saw lots of people shouting and lots of people injured,” David Robinson, 41, who arrived just after the accident, told AFP.
MCB deputy head Miqdaad Versi said the incident happened “outside the Muslim Welfare House”, which is on Seven Sisters Road near the mosque.
The London Ambulance Service said, “We have sent a number of ambulance crews, advance paramedics and specialist responses teams to the scene.
“Our priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries and ensure that those most in need are treated first and taken to hospital.”
Police described it as a “major incident”.