World Media

Several injured in London after reports of vehicle ramming pedestrians

Several injured in London after reports of vehicle ramming pedestrians

CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports one person died at the scene, but police said it was unclear whether his death resulted directly from the vehicle attack.

- The driver of the van, a 48-year-old man, was held by people at the scene until police could arrest him.

The incident early Monday follows two recent terrorist attacks in London in which vehicles have been used as weapons, both on bridges over the Thames River.

Forensics officers are examining a white van which has Pontyclun Van Hire on it - a firm from Rhondda Cynon Taff in Wales.

"Everybody was shouting: "A van's hit people, a van's hit people", she said.

Some witnesses at the scene said more than one attacker may have been involved.

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The streets were busier than usual as prayers had recently finished at the nearby Finsbury Park mosque.

The Finsbury Park mosque was associated with extremist ideology for several years after the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, but was shut down and reorganized.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she is "appalled" at the attack and confirmed she would chair a meeting of the government's Cobra emergency committee later on Monday morning.

"I just saw everyone flying", one witness, who asked to be identified as Khalid, told ABC News.

The U.K. police service said officers were called at 12:20 a.m. local time (7:20 p.m. Sunday ET) to the scene on Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park neighborhood, home to many immigrants. "I didn't see the attacker himself, although he seems to have been arrested, but I did see the van".

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a Muslim, offered his "thoughts and prayers" on Twitter to the victims of what he called a "horrific terrorist attack on innocent people". "One of them, he was under the van, people were gathered around the van to actually lift the van up to get this guy up from under the van".

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An imam guarded the van driver who mowed down Muslim worshippers until the police arrived, telling a crowd: "Do not touch him". Early police caution about declaring the incident to be terrorist-related was interpreted by the community as discriminatory.

The incident comes at a time when emotions are high in the United Kingdom, in the wake of a series of deadly terrorist attacks. Many police cars and ambulances were responding.

Harun Khan, the head of the MCB, described the incident as the "most violent manifestation to date" of Islamophobia, and called on authorities to do more "to tackle the growth in hate crime".

Police said the Counter Terrorism Command was investigating the crash.

Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted on Monday that he was shocked by the attack and expressed his sympathy for the affected community.

Opened in 1994, Finsbury Park Mosque is an unassuming five-story redbrick building in residential north London, close to Arsenal Football Club's Emirates Stadium.

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Police said the 48-year-old man who was driving the van that hit people leaving evening prayers at the Finsbury Park mosque has been arrested and taken to a hospital as a precaution.


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