Van rams worshippers leaving London mosque

Published: 19 June 2017

Police cordon outside Finsbury Park after the incident

Police arrest man after Finsbury Park attack

Police cordon outside Finsbury Park after the incident
Image © 2017 EPA via AAP/Facundo Arrizabalaga

Several people have been injured, one person has been arrested and police have declared a "major incident" after a van rammed into worshippers leaving a north London mosque.

Two people are feared dead, the Sun newspaper reports.

The Muslim Council of Britain says the vehicle hit people as they were leaving Finsbury Park mosque.

Police were alerted just after 12.20 am on Monday to a collision on Seven Sisters Road, which runs through the Finsbury Park area of the city.

They said there were a number of casualties and one person had been arrested.

A witness told Sky News at least ten people were hit by the van.

"From the window, I started hearing a lot of yelling and screeching, a lot of chaos outside. ... Everybody was shouting: 'A van's hit people, a van's hit people'," a woman who lives opposite the scene told the BBC.

"There was this white van stopped outside Finsbury Park mosque that seemed to have hit people who were coming out after prayers had finished. I didn't see the attacker himself, although he seems to have been arrested, but I did see the van."

Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of the mosque, told The Sun: "Whoever did this, he did it to hurt people and it's a terrorist attack.

"We call it a terrorist attack as we called it in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge."

A Reuters witness saw at least one person being loaded into an ambulance. A number of police and ambulances were in attendance.

Other witnesses described the scene on Twitter.

"Horrible to watch police officers doing cardiac massage at people on the floor, desperately trying to save them. I just hope they did," Cynthia Vanzella said.

Finsbury Park mosque used to be infamous as the stamping ground of hook-handed hate preacher Abu Hamza.

A number of terrorists were linked to the mosque, including shoebomber Richard Reid, who attempted to detonate explosives on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami in 2001.

It was raided and shut down and later reclaimed by the local Muslim community, who have transformed it into a place which actively promotes better community relations across faiths.

The incident has followed a series of attacks in Britain.

© 2017 Reuters/RAW via AAP