Three people have been left injured after a car hit pedestrians outside a London mosque, as police investigate whether it was an anti-Muslim attack.
The victims were struck by the vehicle outside the Al-Majlis Al-Hussaini Islamic centre in Cricklewood, north-west London, as it sped away following a row, Scotland Yard said.
Two men in their 20s suffered minor injuries, while a man in his 50s is in hospital with a serious leg injury.
Reports suggest a car swerved into a crowd of Muslims outside the The Hussaini (Balaghiya) Association in Cricklewood, with 5 injured (3 seriously). Eye-witnesses apparently suggest perpetrators were heard shouting anti-Islamic sloguns.https://t.co/VmvysZgpC5 pic.twitter.com/niMOgf8ccM
— Miqdaad Versi (@miqdaad) September 19, 2018
Scotland Yard said it is investigating reports the occupants of the car shouted ‘anti-Islamic taunts’ after being asked to leave by security for drinking, using drugs and behaving anti-socially.
Officers were called to Oxgate Lane, by Edgware Road, at around 12.35am on Wednesday.
Occupants of the car, inside a private car park at the Islamic centre, were told to leave by security at around 12.20am for anti-social behaviour, drinking and apparently using drugs, the force said.
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The occupants, three men and a woman in their mid-20s, were then involved in a row with a group outside the centre where anti-Muslim language was apparently used.
Some of the crowd reportedly inflicted ‘minor damage’ on the car before it made off at speed, hitting three people as it left.
The Islamic centre said the car was ‘hurtling down’ the road and mounted the pavement before swerving into bystanders who were ‘indiscriminately mown down’.
Detectives are analysing CCTV in a bid to trace the driver and are ‘keeping an open mind as to the cause of the collision’.
A spokesman for the Hussaini Association, which had organised a lecture at the mosque, said the collision was ‘a suspected premeditated Islamphobic attack’.
He added: ‘We are in deep shock at such an attack taking place on our community but remain proud to live in a diverse and tolerant society.’
Police said the incident is not being treated as terror-related and no arrests have been made.
Kelly Schonhage from Brent CID said: ‘We are treating this incident very seriously and a number of inquiries are under way to trace the car and those involved.
‘Inquiries into the full circumstances of the collision are ongoing. If you were there at the time and have information I would urge you to contact police with information.
‘Extra neighbourhood police patrols have been stepped up in the area and officers will be on hand to speak with those in the local community.’