Tue, Jun 20, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Theresa May condemns terror after mosque attack

HATE CRIMESActivity linked to far-right groups is being closely monitored in the UK, as crimes against Muslims have increased five-fold in the wake of terrorist attacks

AP, LONDON

A man yesterday plowed a van into a crowd of Muslim worshipers outside a north London mosque in an attack that police say they are investigating as a terrorist incident.

Ten people were injured in the attack and police said another man died at the scene, although he was receiving first aid at the time and it was not clear if he died as a result of the attack or of something else.

British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the attack “on innocent people” and declared that Britain would stop at nothing to defeat extremism.

“Hatred and evil of this kind will never succeed,” she said in a televised statement.

Police said the 48-year-old man who was driving the van that hit people leaving evening prayers at the Finsbury Park mosque has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Police have not released his identity. He has been taken to a hospital as a precaution.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said police are investigating whether the death of the man getting first aid was a direct result of the attack, but it was too early to say for sure.

London police — already stretched by a series of tragedies including a high-rise apartment fire on Wednesday last week in which 79 people are presumed dead and a terror attack on June 3 near London Bridge that killed seven people — said they are putting more officers on the street to reassure the public.

Muslim leaders called for calm.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged residents to focus on their shared values and to stand together during this unprecedented period in the capital’s history.

The attack yesterday hits a community already feeling targeted in the fallout from the London Bridge killings and other attacks blamed on extremists.

“While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the terrible attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge, it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect,” Khan said.

British security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with official policy, said hate crimes directed at Muslims have increased nearly five-fold in the wake of several attacks in Britain.

Counterterror officials said they were closely monitoring terror activity linked to far-right groups, but most of the recent UK attacks have been traced to individuals rather than groups.

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