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  HOME PAGE 18/06/2018 08:29 
19.06.2017 23:58 News >> Update 4 - 1 Killed İn Islamophobic Terror Attack İn London

Update 4 - 1 Killed İn Islamophobic Terror Attack İn London

"Terrorism is terrorism, no matter the target," Mayor Sadiq Khan said following Monday's terror attack that killed one person and injured 10 others, two seriously outside the Muslim Welfare Centre in north London.

"We don't yet know the full motivations behind it, but terrorism is terrorism -- no matter the target and regardless of what inspires the sick and twisted perpetrators who carry out these evil crimes," the mayor said.

The attack, in which the assailant seemed to deliberately ram his van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers near Finsbury Park Mosque shortly after midnight, is being treated as a terrorist incident.

"Islamophobia is on the rise… This attack shows that it doesn't matter which religion you are from… If you look at the Islamophobia it has increased by 50 percent in the last two years," Safeer Ahmed Khan, an imam from London's Indian Muslim community told Anadolu Agency.

The imam said Muslim women and children have been targeted in such attacks in the U.K.

"We know Islam is a religion that teaches peace; it means peace…We must stay united and together stand against extremism," he said.

A 47-year-old man who was reportedly identified as Darren Osborne from Cardiff was arrested after members of the public apprehended him after he left the van and tried to flee the scene, according to police.

Eyewitness Abdulraman Aidroos told Anadolu Agency the "white British man" had shouted "I am going to kill Muslims".

Most victims are thought to have left the Muslim Welfare House on Seven Sisters Road after Taraweeh prayers -- special evening prayers said by Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan -- when the van mounted the pavement.

Prime Minister Theresa May described the attack as "sickening" and "insidious and destructive to our values and our way of life".

She added: "Today we come together, as we have done before, to condemn this act and to state once again that hatred and evil of this kind will never succeed."

Later, May visited the Finsbury Park Mosque to hold a meeting with faith leaders, including Kozba. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan also met the faith leaders at the mosque.

Meanwhile, an anti-fascist campaign group called "HOPE not hate" has raised its concern that the U.K. is entering a cycle of "tit-for-tat violence... where the extremes feed off one another, and terror attack propels terror attack".

Muhammed Kozba, the mosque's imam, told Anadolu Agency worshippers who were performing the prayer were "intentionally" targeted.

The secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, Harun Khan, also said worshippers were the specific target.

Muslim Association of Britain President Omer El-Hamdoon said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this evil attack. I call on all Muslims to be extra vigilant following these hateful Islamophobic attacks and to be cautious."

Corbyn, whose Islington North constituency contains Finsbury Park, said he was "totally shocked" and would be attending prayers at the mosque later Monday.

London mayor also condemned the attack in his earlier remarks.

"We don't yet know the full details but this was clearly a deliberate attack on innocent Londoners, many of whom were finishing prayers during the holy month of Ramadan," he said in a statement released on Facebook.

"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."

And in Washington, the State Department "strongly" condemned the "terrorist attack".

"The United States stands ready to provide any assistance that UK officials would find helpful in this difficult time," spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

"The United States stands in solidarity with the United Kingdom in the face of this terrorist attack and emphasizes our shared resolve to counter the plague of terrorism," she added.

The suspect was taken to hospital as a precaution and will undergo a mental health assessment.

Muslim Welfare House, the cente targeted in Monday's attack, released a statement appealing for calm.

"We have worked very hard over decades to build a peaceful and tolerant community here in Finsbury Park and we totally condemn any act of hate that tries to drive our wonderful community apart," it said.

Security Minister Ben Wallace told SkyNews the attacker was not known to the authorities "in the space of extremism or far right extremism and he clearly took advantage of a simple weapon, a vehicle, to make an attack on people going about their business."

On March 22, a man killed five people when he drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London and stabbed a police officer. The attacker was shot dead by police.

Two months later, a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a pop concert in Manchester, northwest England.

Eight people were killed on June 3, when a van drove into people on London Bridge before three attackers stabbed victims around nearby Borough Market.

* Michael Hernandez contributed to this report from Washington -



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