The Muslim Council of Britain said the vehicle hit people as they were leaving the Finsbury Park Mosque, one of the biggest in the country. He complained that the "mainstream media" was unwilling to call the attack a terrorist incident for many hours.
Britain, especially London, has been on edge over several recent incidents, including last month's terror bombing in Manchester and the recent vehicle attack and stabbing near London Bridge. "Right after the [police] auto stopped, a lot of people started pushing this man [the alleged suspect] to the police, as if signalling to arrest him", she stated. "All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services on the scene", she said. "Inquiries continue. More information will be released when confirmed", the police said in a statement.
One eyewitness speaking to LBC said the van had hit people on the pavement but had not collided with a building.
"There was this white van stopped outside Finsbury Park mosque that seemed to have hit people who were coming out after prayers had finished".
Finsbury Park mosque was once infamous as the stamping ground of hook-handed hate preacher Abu Hamza.
"The British Muslim community requires all decent people to stand with us against this evil violence", he said, adding that "rampant Islamophobia has been on the rise for a number of years". The attack comes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when people attend prayers at night.
Britain's terrorist alert has been set at "severe", meaning an attack is highly likely.
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London police closed the area to normal traffic.
The neighborhood where the deadly incident occurred is home to two different mosques.
Prime Minister Theresa May condemned it as a "terrible incident", while opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was "totally shocked" and had been in touch with mosques and police. "An advance trauma team from London's Air Ambulance has also been dispatched by auto", it added.
The van driver was detained by members of the public after the attack in Seven Sisters Road at 12.20am on Monday.
The force added: " Due to the nature of this incident extra policing resources have been deployed in order to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan".
A witness, 38-year-old worshipper named Mehdi, told the Evening Standard that the van "tried to do a London Bridge thing", referring to the June 3 incident in which three male attackers deliberately crashed their van into pedestrians on the London Bridge.
No other details were immediately available.
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