More than ten pedestrians were hit by a white van driver who veered onto a pavement near a renowned north London mosque, in what is being described as a ‘terrorist attack’.
Several people were reportedly hurt after the van ploughed into a crowd outside Finsbury Park Mosque, where hate cleric Abu Hamza once preached, as they finished Ramadan evening prayers called taraweeh. the Daily Mail reported.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing bystanders wrestle the suspect to the floor and pin him down until officers arrived.
Emergency service crews were also spotted trying giving cardiac massages to the injured in a desperate bid to save them.
Twitter users claimed the victims were Muslims leaving late-night prayers being observed for the month of Ramadan.
The leader of Finsbury Park mosque, Mohammed Kozbar, 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.’
He added he heard there had been fatalities but did not want to ‘jump to conclusions.’
A Metropolitan Police helicopter was seen circling overhead as photographs posted on social media showed a huge response from the emergency services.
Dozens of police cars and vans cordoned off a large area of the normally bustling thoroughfare as stunned locals gathered at the scene.
Images on Twitter appeared to show a clean-shaven white man with black hair being detained by police officers behind a van, surrounded by a group of shouting onlookers.
The vehicle in question appears to have been rented from a company based in Wales, Pontaclun Van Hire.
Cynthia Vanzella said 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.’
Another social media user reported: ‘Islamaphobic attack in Finsbury Park right now. A van swerved off the main road and ran over several Muslim men.’
Another witness told the BBC: ‘Very shortly after getting home form the window I started hearing a lot of yelling and screeching and a lot of chaos outside so I ran down the street to see what happened and everyone was shouting a vans hit someone.
‘People were shouting that this was a white supremacist attack people were very angry, police were very calm and kept moving people back.’
A Met spokesman said officers were called at 12.20am ‘to reports of a vehicle in collision with pedestrians’.
They added: ‘Officers are on scene with other emergency services. There are a number of casualties being worked on at the scene. There has been one person arrested.’
The incident follows two terrorist attacks in a matter of weeks at Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge.