A white man deliberately ploughed a van into worshippers near a north London mosque, the Muslim Council of Britain said on Monday, citing witnesses and video from the incident which left several people injured.
"It appears that a white man in a van intentionally ploughed into a group of worshippers who were already tending to someone who had been taken ill," the Muslim Council reportedly said in a statement.
It said the incident was the most violent manifestation of islamophobia in Britain in recent months and called for extra security at places of worship as the end of the holy month of Ramadan nears.
A van ploughed into pedestrians near a London mosque in early Monday, killing one man and injuring eight other people in what Prime Minister Theresa May said was "a potential terrorist attack". The 48-year-old driver of the van was detained by members of the public and then arrested by police.
Muslim leaders said worshippers were specifically targeted after leaving prayers near Finsbury Park mosque in north London shortly after midnight and linked the incident to a recent rise in anti-Muslim hate crime.
Witness Abdiqadir Warra told AFP the van "drove at people" and some of the victims were carried for several metres along the road.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said it was a "horrific terrorist attack," calling it "deliberate" and aimed at "innocent Londoners, many of whom were finishing prayers during the holy month of Ramadan". May was due to hold an emergency ministerial meeting later on Monday to discuss the attack.
It comes after two deadly Islamist attacks this year that used vehicles to ram pedestrians — one earlier this month in the London Bridge area and a March attack in which a man drove a car into crowds on Westminster Bridge.
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Updated Date: Jun 19, 2017 12:09:50 IST