The deadly collision that unfolded outside a mosque in London early Monday has been declared a terrorist attack by British officials.
“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,” London mayor Sadiq Khan wrote in a statement.
“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,” he said. “The situation is still unfolding and I urge all Londoners to remain calm and vigilant. Please report anything suspicious to the police.”
Earlier on Monday, British Prime Minister confirmed that police were treating the incident as a “possible terrorist attack,” before calling for an emergency meeting to coordinate a response.
Armed officers have been deployed throughout the city as a precaution, according to reports.
Monday’s early morning incident left at least one person dead and 10 others wounded.
The victims were all said to be Muslim worshippers. Witnesses and local religious leaders told reporters that they appeared to be “intentionally” targeted as they attended to an elderly man, who had fallen ill outside the Finsbury Park Mosque.
The driver of the van that plowed into the group was reportedly ranting and raving about wanting to take lives — screaming, “I’m going to kill all Muslims,” a witness said.
Video footage posted on social media shows what appears to be a white male being held by police and screaming.
The neighborhood where the deadly incident occurred is home to two different mosques. Many worshippers were said to have been in the area after attending evening prayers as part of the Ramadan, the Muslim holy month.