A man drove a van at a group of worshippers leaving a north London mosque shortly after midnight on Monday, screaming that he wanted to “kill all Muslims,” a witness told BuzzFeed News.
The white van struck a group of men congregating outside the Finsbury Park Mosque on Seven Sisters Road after evening prayers.
Abdulrahman Saleh Aloudi told BuzzFeed News the van swerved towards the men, who had been attending to an elderly man who had fallen down, perhaps due to exhaustion.
“This big van just came and went all over us,” Saleh Aloudi said. “I think at least eight or 10 people were injured. Luckily I managed to escape, and then the guy came out of his van.”
The driver tried to run, Saleh Aloudi said, but he and his two friends tackled the man, holding him down for some 20 minutes until police arrived.
“He was screaming before that — I’m going to kill all Muslims,” Saleh Aloudi said. “He was throwing punches all over.”
The UK Muslim Council of Britain also tweeted that they had been informed a van ran over worshippers as they were leaving a mosque.
One person has been arrested, the Metropolitan Police confirmed in a statement, describing it as a “major incident.”
“Officers are on scene with other emergency services,” police said. “There are a number of casualties being worked on at the scene.”
The London Ambulance Service said paramedics were also at the scene.
“We have sent a number of ambulance crews, advance paramedics, and specialist responses teams to the scene,” London Ambulance Service Deputy Director of Operations Kevin Bate said in a statement. “An advance trauma team from London’s Air Ambulance has also been dispatched by car.”
Saleh Aloudi and his friend, Ahmed Sharif, said it took one hour for medical help to arrive. They said they were upset that only one ambulance came, with “eight people on the floor.”
“It was heartbreaking, honestly,” Saleh Aloudi said.
The London Fire Service also said they had sent “a number of resources” to the scene.
The incident occurred at a major intersection near Finsbury Park Mosque, where prayers were scheduled to be held shortly before 11 p.m., according to the mosque’s website. The mosque had broadcast the prayer service live on YouTube.
“Our thoughts and prayers with those who got injured and effected by this cowardly attack in Finsbury Park area, many casualties in the floor,” the mosque’s chairman, Mohammed Kozbar, tweeted.
Authorities are yet to specify what has occurred. The incident comes after terror attacks in Manchester and London in recent, the latter of which involved, in part, a van striking pedestrians on London Bridge.
James Ball in London, David Mack in New York, and Rich James in Sydney contributed to this report.
This is a developing news story. Check back for updates or follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.
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