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UK police declare 'major incident' after van hits worshippers outside mosque

By Chris Peterson in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-20 00:16

London police dealt with the third major terror attack in the capital involving a vehicle after a van ploughed into a crowd of worshippers outside a mosque in the northern part of the city. The Muslim Council of Britain said it was an intentional attack.

One man died and 10 were injured in the attack, early on Monday morning. The van driver, a 48-year old white man, was arrested and held on suspicion of attempted murder, police said.

Ben Wallace, the security minister, told Sky News that the suspect was not known to the police in the context of the far right wing groups.

Prime Minister Theresa May told reporters the second attack on London this month was as sickening as those which has come before. "It was an attack that once again targeted the ordinary and the innocent going about their daily lives. This time it was British Muslims as they left the mosque having broken their fast and prayed together at this sacred time of year,"she said.

Police said worshippers who had left the Seven Sisters Mosque, in Finsbury Park, were helping a man who had collapsed at a bus stop from an apparent heart attack seconds before the van appeared.

Eyewitness Abdul Rahman said a man leapt out of the van and he and other Mosque attendees tackled him and held him on the ground as he shouted "I want to kill all Muslims.”

London has been the scene of two vehicle attacks on pedestrians by Islamic extremists. In March five people were killed, including an unarmed police officer, when a man drove an SUV into pedestrians and then stabbed policeman to death before being shot by police.

Earlier this month three men drove a hired van into pedestrians on London Bridge, before going on a stabbing rampage in nearby Borough Market. Eight people were killed and many others injured before police marksmen killed the trio, who were all wearing fake suicide vests.

In the other major incident to shake the capital, police said they now believe 79 people were killed when fire tore through the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block in west London last week.

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