One man has died after a van hit 11 worshippers leaving a Muslim welfare centre in north London.
The Metropolitan Police said eight people have been taken to hospital after the collision in Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park.
A further two people were treated at the scene where police arrested a 48-year-old man who had been held by members of the public amid angry scenes.
According to a witness, the driver of the van said: “I want to kill Muslims.”
Another witness, Adil Rana, 24, said: “The van was driving towards us to try and basically hit us at speed.
“When he got arrested, he was taunting, saying, ‘I’d do it again, I’d do it again’.”
The Counter Terrorism Command Unit is helping the Met Police with its investigation into the incident, which witnesses described as a deliberate attack.
“Police have confirmed this is being treated as a potential terrorist attack,” Prime Minister Theresa May said. “I will chair an emergency meeting later this morning.
“All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services on the scene.”
The London Ambulance Service said it was called to the incident at 12.15am on this Monday morning.
“We sent over 60 medics to the scene, including ambulance crews, advance paramedics and specialist responses teams and an advance trauma team from London’s Air Ambulance,” said the service’s Deputy Director of Operations, Kevin Bate.
It happened outside Finsbury Park’s Muslim Welfare House, which is nearby
“Given we are approaching the end of the month of Ramadan and the celebration of Eid with many Muslims going to local mosques, we expect the authorities to increase security outside mosques as a matter of urgency.”
Asked about mosque security, Home Secretary Amber Rudd told said: “We have a places’ of worship fund, which we announced last summer, and we will make sure that we do all we can to reduce these sort of attacks.
“We have made available two-and-a-half million pounds. I recently announced who would be getting those additional funds, which included 12 mosques, and actually I have repoened it recently to make sure that any additional place of worship that feels the need can apply for extra security.”
A delivery driver who was on a bike about three cars behind the incident, Mohammed Abdullah, said he saw the van take a sudden left turn.
“I think he done it on purpose. I was on a ped. He was about three cars in front of me. He came in a bus lane and took a sharp left.
“He went on top of the people. He actually ran them over. It was a white van.
“There was three of them. Two of them ran away. The other was held at the scene until the police came. Some people wanted to beat him up.
“I’ve seen about six or seven people on the floor. Most of them were male. It was exactly the same time as the prayers finished. As soon as it finished, this guy came. I think (the road he took) is a blocked road – It’s not even a through road.