Man dies after van driven into pedestrians outside north London mosque in ‘potential terror attack’

One man has died and eight people have been taken to hospital after a van was driven into pedestrians near a north London mosque.

The van driver, described by eyewitnesses as a large white man, was detained by members of the public after the attack in Seven Sisters Road at 12.20am on Monday.

The incident, outside the Muslim Welfare House near Finsbury Park mosque, is being treated as a “potential terrorist attack”, Prime Minister Theresa May said.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “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.”

Commenting on reports that the van driver also produced a knife, the statement went on: “At this stage there are no reports of any persons having suffered any knife injuries.

“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.”

Many of those injured are believed to have been leaving the Finsbury Park Mosque after prayers following the end of their daily Ramadan fast.

One bystander, Cynthia Vanzella, said that paramedics were treating casualties lying on the ground.

Mohammed Kozbar, the mosque’s chairman, said there were “many casualties on the floor” after what he said was a “cowardly attack”.

The London Ambulance service said it had sent “a number of ambulance crews, advance paramedics and specialist response teams” in a statement.

“Our priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries and ensure those in most need are treated first and taken to hospital.”

Armed police were deployed in the aftermath of the incident.

Images of the scene showed more than a dozen emergency services vans, with a large section of the road cordoned off.

Video posted online appeared to show a white man being detained by police.

The Met Police added: “Due to the nature of this incident extra policing resources have been deployed in order to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan.”

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Police have confirmed this is being treated as a potential terrorist attack.

“I will chair an emergency meeting later this morning.

“All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services on the scene.”

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

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In a post on Facebook, he said: “The Metropolitan Police are responding to a horrific terrorist attack on innocent people in Finsbury Park.

“My thought and prayers are with everyone affected.

“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.”

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