LONDON (AP) – A van struck a crowd of worshippers leaving a mosque early Monday morning, killing one person and injuring 10. Eight of the injured were taken to hospitals and the rest were treated at the scene.
The crash occurred near the Finsbury Park Mosque as worshippers were leaving after Ramadan prayers.
Several hundred worshippers would have been in the area at the time after attending prayers as part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Police say the driver of the van is a 48-year-old man who has been arrested and taken to a hospital as a precaution.
British Prime Minister Theresa May says he was bravely detained by members of the public at the scene and then arrested by police.
The chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House tells Sky News a local imam intervened to keep the van driver from being attacked by the crowd outside the Finsbury Park Mosque.
Police said the Counter Terrorism Command was investigating the crash. Britain's terrorist alert has been set at “severe” meaning an attack is highly likely.
British Prime Minister Theresa May says she will chair an emergency session of the security Cabinet later Monday.
British security officials say hate crimes directed at Muslims have increased nearly five-fold in the wake of several attacks in Britain blamed on Islamic extremists.
An official said Monday that counter-terrorism officials were closely monitoring terror activity linked to far-right groups but most of the recent attacks have been traced back to individuals rather than groups.
In the past three months, mosques across Britain have reported several attacks against worshippers and places of worship.