Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Van hits pedestrians in London; 'number of casualties' reported


A New Zealand man has witnessed the carnage outside a London mosque after a van hit several pedestrians.

Officers were called to the scene at 12:20 a.m. Monday near Finsbury Park Mosque as people were leaving a service.

Police said the incident took place near Finsbury Park Mosque in Seven Sisters Road.

"- On its Twitter account, the London's Metropolitan Police said "#SevenSisters Rd #Finsburypark incident - At this early stage there are no other suspects, however the investigation continues".

The Muslim Council tweeted that worshippers were struck by a van as they were leaving prayers near the Finsbury Park mosque.

A number of those injured are believed to be Muslims who had left evening prayers after breaking the Ramadan fast.

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One man was pronounced dead at the scene. He complained that the "mainstream media" was unwilling to call the attack a terrorist incident for many hours.

Two people "said that the driver got out of the vehicle after hitting about ten people and screamed that he wanted to "kill all Muslims", The Times reports.

I write "incident" as opposed to "attack" only because authorities have not confirmed to the public whether or not the tragedy was intentionally caused. "We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of the victim, and we hope that the injured will make a quick recovery", it said.

Eyewitness Abdiqadir Warra told AFP: "He just drove at people".

Aucklander Chris Norris told 1 News he was just 100m from the Finsbury Park mosque in north London when he heard a "horrific bang".

On March 22, a man drove a rented auto into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London and stabbed a police officer guarding the British parliament to death before being shot dead.

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The mosque, which today operates largely as a community center, rose to global notoriety in the early 2000s, due to its links with Egyptian-born radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri.

"Whether he's a Christian or a Muslim, this is a terrorist attack", one young Muslim told Sky TV.

Vanzella said there have been no conflict among the groups in the past. Calling it a major incident, the police said that they are investigating if it was accidental or deliberate.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is the MP for the area, said he was "totally shocked".

Earlier this month, three knife-wielding Islamist attackers unleashed a terror rampage in the British capital, plowing a van into pedestrians on the London Bridge before stabbing revellers in a nearby market, killing seven people.

In May, the city of Manchester was targeted with a suicide bombing at a pop concert that killed 22 people.

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This attack is now the third in five weeks.

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