Van rams Muslim worshippers in London, PM May condemns 'sickening' attack

Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:22pm EDT
 
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By Alistair Smout and Costas Pitas

LONDON (Reuters) - A van plowed into worshippers near a London mosque in the early hours of Monday, injuring 11 people, two of them seriously, in what Prime Minister Theresa May said was a sickening, terrorist attack on Muslims.

The vehicle swerved into a group of mainly North and West African people shortly after midnight as they left prayers at the Muslim Welfare House and the nearby Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, one of the biggest in Britain.

The driver, a 47-year-old white man, was grabbed at the scene by locals and pinned down until police arrived.

The man was not named by police but local media reported he was a father of four who lived in Wales. He was held on suspicion of attempted murder which was later extended to preparing or instigating terrorism, including murder and attempted murder.

After being seized, he said he had wanted to kill "many Muslim people", one witness told journalists.

A man, who had earlier suffered a heart attack, died at the scene but it was not clear if his death was connected to the van attack.

"This morning, our country woke to news of another terrorist attack on the streets of our capital city: the second this month and every bit as sickening as those which have come before," May told reporters outside her Downing Street office.

"This was an attack on Muslims near their place of worship," said May who later visited the mosque.   Continued...

A message on a wall is seen near to where a van was driven at Muslims in Finsbury Park, North London, Britain, June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Marko Djurica