1 suspect held in mosque attack

A number of casualties are being treated at the scene after reports that a vehicle was involved in a collision in north London.

One person has been arrested but police have not said if the crash was deliberate or accidental. He will be given a mental health evaluation.

Finsbury Park, in the London Borough of Islington, is a bustling, diverse area of north London. Muslim leaders called it a hate crime and asked the public to stay calm.

Locals then pounced on the driver and pinned him down while waiting for the police to arrive. One man was killed in the attack and eight people were hospitalised.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said following that attack that there had been a 40-percent increase in racist incidents in the city and a fivefold increase in the number of anti-Muslim incidents. It appears from eyewitness accounts that the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia. "An advance trauma team from London's Air Ambulance has also been dispatched by auto", it added.

Rowling, the Harry Potter author, attacked the "usual newspapers" after elements of the press accused the place of worship as harbouring terrorists.

Someone in the crowd yelled to others not to harm the man while he was taken into custody.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: "Police have confirmed this is being treated as a potential terrorist attack. No one! No one!"

"We have been informed that a van has run over worshipers as they left #FinsburyPark Mosque", the Muslim Council of Britain tweeted early Monday.

AFP reporters saw a helicopter hovering overhead and several emergency vehicles blocking a section of Seven Sisters Road, a busy thoroughfare. A helicopter circled above the area as a large cordon was established to keep motorists and pedestrians away.

Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said the van had deliberately swerved into a group of people who were helping a man who was ill and had fallen to the ground. Another two suspects are said to have fled the scene. It is too early to state if his death was as a result of this attack.

The extremist cleric Abu Hamza - known for his hook hand - was the mosque's imam from 1997 to 2003.

May was due to hold an emergency ministerial meeting later on Monday to discuss the attack.

The incident comes at a time when emotions are high in the United Kingdom, in the wake of a series of deadly terrorist attacks.

The incident comes just over two weeks after three militants drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed people at nearby restaurants and bars, killing eight.

"People are going to wake up tomorrow...communities from all different backgrounds, and they're going to be in shock to hear worshippers in front of a mosque were attacked in the same way that people were attacked on the London Bridge", he said.

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