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Finsbury Park: Sadiq Khan says extra police will be deployed to protect Muslim communities in wake of attack near mosque

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 19/06/2017 Hatty Collier

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said extra police will be deployed to protect Muslim communities observing Ramadan after a suspected terror attack on worshippers near Finsbury Park mosque.

The Mayor condemned the “horrific terrorist attack” in which one person was killed and 10 people injured when a van ploughed into pedestrians near the north London mosque in the early hours of Monday morning.

Dozens of people had just finished prayers at the mosque when the vehicle veered into crowds in Seven Sisters Road at about 12.15am.

One man has been arrested and the Metropolitan Police said that Counter Terrorism officers are investigating the attack.

Prime Minister Theresa May said it was being treated as "a potential terrorist attack" and that she would hold a Cobra committee emergency meeting later on Monday.

In a statement released shortly after 6am, Mr Khan praised the efforts of the emergency services and urged Londoners to remain calm and vigilant.

© Provided by Independent Print Limited He said he had been in contact with police, community organisations in the area, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the leader of the local council Richard Watts.

He said: “My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected. I am grateful to our emergency services, who responded quickly and have been working on the scene throughout the night.

“I have been in contact with the Met Commissioner and senior officers and am being kept updated on all developments. I have also spoken with community organisations in the area, local MP Jeremy Corbyn and leader of the council Richard Watts.

“We don't yet know the full details, but this was clearly a deliberate attack on innocent Londoners, many of whom were finishing prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.

“While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the terrible attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect.

“The situation is still unfolding and I urge all Londoners to remain calm and vigilant. Please report anything suspicious to the police, but only call 999 in an emergency.

“The Met have deployed extra police to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan.”

finsburypark1906t.jpg © Provided by Independent Print Limited finsburypark1906t.jpg Eight of the injured people were taken to hospital, while two were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Bystanders wrestled a suspect to the floor. Officers on patrol nearby were at the scene within seconds and made one arrest.

A white man with black hair was seen being detained by police officers.

The Muslim Council of Britain has confirmed that worshippers leaving Finsbury Park Mosque were targeted when a van ran into them, adding: "Our prayers are with the victims."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "One man was pronounced dead at the scene. Officers are in the process of informing next of kin.

"A post mortem examination will be scheduled due course.

Eight people injured were taken to three separate hospitals; two people were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

"At this stage there are no reports of any persons having suffered any knife injuries."

finsburypark1906q.jpg © Provided by Independent Print Limited finsburypark1906q.jpg The spokesman continued: "The driver of the van - a man aged 48 - was found detained by members of public at the scene and then arrested by police in connection with the incident.

"He has been taken to hospital as a precaution, and will be taken into custody once discharged.

"He will also be subject of a mental health assessment in due course.

"A number police units are at, and managing the cordons around, the crime scene, including local officers and those from neighbouring boroughs - supported by armed officers and the Territorial Support Group.

"The investigation of the incident is being carried out by the Counter Terrorism Command.

"At this early stage of this investigation, no other suspects at the scene have been identified or reported to police, however the investigation continues."

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