June 18 (UPI) — A man was arrested after “intentionally” driving a vehicle into several pedestrians near a mosque in London on Sunday.
London police said in a statement that one death has been confirmed and eight people were injured and taken to nearby hospitals. Two more people were treated for minor injuries at the scene. Eight people injured were taken to three separate hospitals; two people were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
A 48-year-old man has been arrested and is in custody.
Several witness accounts indicate that the victims were worshippers leaving a mosque in London’s Finsbury Park. Counter-terrorism units are investigating, according to CNN.
“During the night, ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship,” said Harun Khan, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain. “My prayers are with the victims and their families. It appears from eyewitness accounts that the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia.”
“Everyone was shouting ‘a van’s hit people,'” one eyewitness told the BBC. “There was this white van stopped outside Finsbury Park Mosque that seems to have hit people who were coming out of the mosque after prayers.”
“He just came into all of us. There was a lot of people. We got told to move straight away,” another witness said. “I was shocked, shocked, shocked. There were bodies around me.”
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn released a statement on Twitter following the incident.
“I’m totally shocked at the incident at Finsbury Park tonight. I’ve been in touch with the mosques, police and Islington council regarding the incident,” Corbyn wrote. “My thoughts are with those and the community affected by this awful event.”
Community leader Abjol Miah said anti-Muslim sentiment has increased lately but was optimistic about the possibility of people coming together.
“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.