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Jun 20 2017 by Desiree Burns
The latest terrorist attack in London - the third in three months - was "every bit as sickening" as those that have come before, said British Prime Minister Theresa May.
"My officers were on the scene nearly immediately, and other uniformed and specialist officers quickly arrived to support them".
Eight people were killed and 50 injured on June 3 when three Islamist militants drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed people at nearby restaurants and bars.
Witnesses said that an imam from the mosque protected the driver of the van from angry members of the public until the police could arrive.
The van had hit people assisting an elderly man who had collapsed, and who later died.
Police and community leaders have praised those who restrained the van driver and stopped others from attacking him before police arrived.
Police had already declared it was being treated as a terrorist incident shortly after the attack.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, the injured and anyone affected by this tragedy".
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The imam of Muslim Welfare House - which is also a community centre - said a passing police van was flagged down after the attack. A van is seen near Finsbury Park station after the vehicle struck pedestrians in north London , Monday June 19, 2017 .
The Prime Minister acknowledged that the attack came at a "difficult time" for London following the Grenfell Tower fire and the London Bridge attack and she paid tribute to the spirit of the city. In 2015, One-time Community Police Officer of the Year, Damian O'Reilly, made a heartfelt appeal to May to reverse cuts to local policing which had caused intelligence about possible attacks to dry up.
"We have been informed that a van has run over worshipers as they left #FinsburyPark Mosque", the Muslim Council of Britain said on Twitter.
"Due to the nature of this incident extra policing resources have been deployed in order to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan". Since then incidents of hate crime have risen, police say. Nearby, evening prayer services had just concluded at the larger Finsbury Park Mosque, which had been associated with extremist ideology for several years after the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
A police forensic tent erected at the scene in Finsbury Park, after a van collided with pedestrians. "By God's grace we managed to surround him and to protect him from any harm", Mahmoud said. The attack comes just days before Britain votes to leave the European Union.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the city's first Muslim mayor, called the incident a "horrific terrorist attack", which was "clearly a deliberate attack on innocent Londoners, many of whom were finishing prayers during the holy month of Ramadan".
"The perpetrator of this attack - and those bad attacks that we saw recently in Manchester and London - their intention is to seek to divide society".
To the north, Manchester was hit by a deadly attack May 22 when a suicide bomber killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert.