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Anti-Muslim crimes spike in London after attack: mayor

AFP logoAFP 6/7/2017 Odd ANDERSEN
London Mayor Sadiq Khan leaves after observing a minute's silence for victims of a terror attack in the British capital, on June 6, 2017: London Mayor Sadiq Khan called on Londoners "to pull together" and fight hate.  © Provided by AFP London Mayor Sadiq Khan called on Londoners "to pull together" and fight hate. 

Anti-Muslim crimes in the British capital have increased fivefold since the London Bridge terror attack, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Wednesday, warning that police would take a "zero-tolerance approach".

"Provisional statistics for 6 June show a 40 percent increase in racist incidents, compared to the daily average this year, and a fivefold increase in the number of Islamophobic incidents," the mayor's office said in a statement.

It said 54 racist incidents were recorded on Tuesday, compared to a daily average of 38 so far in 2017.

Twenty of them were anti-Muslim incidents, well above the 2017 daily average of 3.5.

"This is the highest daily level of Islamophobic incidents in 2017 to date," the statement said, adding it was higher than levels reached after the November 2015 attacks in Paris in which 130 people were killed.

Imams and members of the Muslim community arrive to lay flowers near the scene of the London Bridge terrorist attacks, on June 7, 2017 in London, England. The third attacker has been named following the attack on Saturday night in London Bridge and Borough in which eight people were killed and forty eight were injured. Incident on London Bridge

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On his Facebook page, Khan called on Londoners "to pull together, and send a clear message around the world that our city will never be divided by these hideous individuals who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life."

He also warned that "just as the police will do everything possible to root out extremism from our city, so we will take a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime."

Eight people were killed on Saturday when three Islamist extremists mowed down people on London Bridge before going on a stabbing spree in nearby Borough Market wearing fake suicide vests.

The three attackers, Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba, were then killed by police.

The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility.

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