London attacker wanted 'to kill all Muslims'

A police forensic tent erected at Finsbury Park in north London, where one man has died, eight people taken to hospital and a person arrested after a van struck pedestrians.

- Police said they believe the attacker acted alone, despite earlier reports from witnesses, who said they saw two other people flee the scene.

May said the attack had "once again targeted the ordinary and the innocent going about their daily lives - this time, British Muslims as they left a mosque, having broken their fast and prayed together at this sacred time of year".

"All my thoughts are with those who have been injured, their loved ones, and the emergency services on the scene", she said.

"The attack, which killed one person and injured a number of other pedestrians, as they left a mosque".

"This had all the hallmarks of a terrorist incident", said Neil Basu, senior national co-ordinator for counter-terrorism policing.

Following an Islamist-inspired van-and-knife attack in the London Bridge area on June 3, the city saw a sharp rise in anti-Muslim crimes.

MP Alun Cairns said: "I have this morning spoken to the Chief Constable of South Wales Police, Mr Peter Vaughan". He praised those who detained him, calling their restraint "commendable".

Meanwhile, Harud Khan, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, tweeted he was "shocked and outraged to hear a van has intentionally run over worshippers leaving Ramadan night prayers".

London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged people to "remain calm and vigilant".

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An AFP reporter could see a helicopter and many emergency vehicles at the scene, which was closed off by a large police cordon. Police said the male driver had also been taken to hospital as a precaution and would receive a mental health assessment.

Islington's Seven Sisters Road, where the attack took place, is home to at least four mosques, and would have likely been filled with worshipers leaving late-night taraweeh prayers and heading back toward the Finsbury Park Underground Station. Three Islamic extremists who carried out the attack were killed by police.

It was several hours too late for numerous Muslims who had witnessed the incident. "Our prayers are with the victims".

The incident comes at a time when emotions are high in England, where there have been several recent terrorist attacks.

Abdulrahman claimed the driver said "Kill me" as he was being held on the ground by the crowd.

British security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with official policy, said hate crimes directed at Muslims have increased almost five-fold in the wake of several attacks in Britain.

The incident came after two terror attacks in London in the past three months involving vehicles ploughing into crowds of people, as well as the suicide bombing attack at a Manchester pop concert in May. The council called on the authorities to increase security around mosques. "He said the auto was smashing into the people getting out of the mosque, so we just ran away, all of us, and came to see what's happening". All the victims were Muslim, he said.

A 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

"Five or six people were on the ground bleeding, people who couldn't breath".

Video taken in the immediate aftermath of the incident and posted on social media showed people screaming as bystanders performed chest compressions on one of the injured.

"We have worked very hard over decades to build a peaceful and tolerant community here in Finsbury Park and we totally condemn any act of hate that tries to drive our wonderful community apart".

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