Witnesses describe horror at scene of London mosque attack

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Witnesses at the scene of a suspected terrorist attack outside a London mosque early Monday described the horror as a van plowed into a group gathered outside after prayers, killing at least one person and injuring 10 others.

Many of the people injured in the attack, near the Finsbury Park Mosque in London, had just finished praying there when a white van swerved onto the sidewalk and ran into them, according to people who witnessed the crash.

"I just saw everyone flying," one witness, who asked to be identified as Khalid, told ABC News on Monday. "And then the guy got out of the van saying, 'Where is all Muslims? I want to kill all Muslims.'" Khalid described the driver as a white man.

Khalid said three of his friends were injured in the attack, including one who was hit and pinned under the van. Khalid said he went into shock after the collision and others on the scene had to lift the van in order to remove his friend.

"It was horrendous," Khalid said. "This is a terrorist attack, and it was not an accident."

The episode is being investigated as a terrorist attack, according to police, and multiple witnesses said the van took a sharp left turn and appeared to hit the crowd intentionally.

A 48-year-old man was arrested at the scene, according to the Met Police. Witnesses reported seeing three people in the van, including two who fled the scene.

"There was three of them. Two of them ran away," delivery driver Mohammed Abdullah told Sky News on Monday. "The other was held at the scene until the police came. Some people wanted to beat him up."

Another witness, Mohamad, said he and others in the community are worried about returning to the area for prayer on Tuesday.

"Tomorrow, we're going to be here praying," he said. "We still have to look over our shoulders where we're going to go. Or we might have to even not come."

The crash occurred in North London outside the Muslim Welfare House, which is near the Finsbury Park Mosque.

Leaders at the facility — which provides support services for Muslims in North London — quickly condemned the attack, calling it an act of hate meant to drive the community apart.

"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," the Muslim Welfare House said in a statement early Monday. "We would appeal for calm at this time."

The Muslim Council of Britain called the incident a "violent manifestation" of Islamophobia and said authorities should increase security outside mosques "as a matter of urgency."

"Over the past weeks and months, Muslims have endured many incidents of Islamophobia, and this is the most violent manifestation to date," said Harun Khan, the secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain. "It appears from eyewitness accounts that the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia."

He noted that the attack happened during Ramadan — a holy month on the Islamic calendar that is marked by prayer and fasting — and said the council "expects the authorities to increase security outside of mosques as a matter of urgency."

Mohammed Kozbar, the chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, called the ramming a "cowardly attack" on worshippers.

London has seen several deadly terrorist attacks in recent months.

On June 3 three men crashed a van into a crowd of pedestrians on London Bridge and attacked people with knives, leaving eight people dead and many others injured.

On May 22 a suicide bombing outside an Ariana Grande concert killed 22 people and injured dozens of others.

On March 22, a man rammed pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London and stabbed a constable, killing five people and injuring dozens more before being shot dead.