1 dead, 10 hurt in at­tack out­side Lon­don mosque

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Front Page - Pra­sun Son­walkar letters@hindustantimes.com

The rise of Is­lam­o­pho­bia in the UK in the re­cent past took a new turn af­ter a man drove a van into Ramzan wor­ship­pers leav­ing a mosque in Lon­don early on Mon­day, leav­ing one dead and 10 oth­ers in­jured.

The in­ci­dent soon af­ter mid­night near Fins­bury Park is be­ing treated as a ter­ror­ist in­ci­dent, and fol­lows a sim­i­lar at­tack on Lon­don Bridge ear­lier this month, when a van mowed down pedes­tri­ans and its three oc­cu­pants went on a stab­bing spree be­fore be­ing shot dead by po­lice.

Wit­nesses said the van driver was a “large white man”, who was ap­pre­hended by mem­bers of the pub­lic be­fore po­lice ar­rived to ar­rest him. He was quoted as shout­ing: “I want to kill all Mus­lims.”

A man, who was al­ready be­ing given first aid at the scene be­fore the van rammed the pedes­tri­ans, has died but po­lice said it was un­clear whether his death was di­rectly linked. At least two of the in­jured are in con­di­tions.

“No mat­ter what the mo­ti­va­tion proves to be, and we are keep­ing an open mind, this is be­ing treated as a ter­ror­ist at­tack and the Counter Ter­ror­ism Com­mand is in­ves­ti­gat­ing,” Neil Basu, Scot­land Yard’s se­nior na­tional co-or­di­na­tor for counter-ter­ror­ism polic­ing, said.

Basu added: “The at­tack un­folded whilst a man was re­ceiv­ing first aid from the pub­lic at the scene, sadly, he has died. Any causative link be­tween his death and the at­tack will form part of our in­ves­ti­ga­tion. It is too early to state if his death was as a re­sult of the at­tack.”

“All the vic­tims were from the Mus­lim com­mu­nity,” he said.

Se­cu­rity was stepped up out­side mosques in Lon­don and else­where. Lo­cal MP Jeremy Cor­byn ex­pressed “to­tal shock” at the in­ci­dent.

Sky News re­ported that the mosque’s imam, Mo­hammed Mah­moud, pre­vented the crowd from beat­ing the at­tacker, aged 48, un­til po­lice ar­rived and ar­rested him on sus­pi­cion of at­tempted mur­der.

The Fins­bury Park mosque, one of the largest in the UK, was in the head­lines in the 1990s be­cause of its links to rad­i­cal cleric Abu Hamza. It was shut down and re­or­ga­nized, and has not been as­so­ci­ated with rad­i­cal views for more than a decade.

The area has a large im­mi­grant com­mu­nity and is also home to Arse­nal foot­ball club.

AP

Peo­ple of­fer prayers at Fins­bury Park where a ve­hi­cle drove into pedes­tri­ans in Lon­don on Mon­day.

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