Three hurt as car hits people near mosque in Cricklewood

Three men were hurt when a car struck several people outside a north London mosque, police said.

Eyewitnesses described hearing the driver "shouting anti-Islamic taunts" in the incident at the Islamic centre in Cricklewood.

The Metropolitan Police said it was not being treated as terrorist-related, but could have been a hate crime.

Two men were taken to hospital following the incident at about 00:35 BST. The driver failed to stop.

It happened at the Al-majlis Al-Hussaini centre at the junction of Oxgate Lane and Edgware Road.

Asked to leave

A man in his 50s remains in hospital and is being treated for a serious leg injury. Two other men, both in their 20s, suffered minor injuries.

Before the attack a group of three men and a woman in their mid 20s were asked to leave a private car park at the premises, police said.

The group had allegedly been behaving anti-socially, drinking and using drugs.

The car then drove near the mosque and the group were involved in a confrontation with a large group of people outside.

Car sped off

Comments of an Islamophobic nature were allegedly made by the group in the car, police said.

The car was then reportedly damaged by some of the crowd, before it sped off, colliding with three people.

Scotland Yard said: "Officers are currently retaining an open mind regarding the cause of the collision.

"This incident is not being treated as terror-related, but the hate crime aspect of the collision is being looked at by detectives as an aggravating factor."

Police patrols

Det Sgt Kelly Schonhage, of Brent CID, said: "We are treating this incident very seriously and a number of enquiries are underway to trace the car and those involved.

"Enquiries 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."

A spokesperson for the Hussaini Association, which had been holding a series of lectures at the mosque, said: "We are in deep shock at such an attack taking place on our community.

"We remain proud to live in a diverse and tolerant society and as such we remain unintimidated."

bbc.com
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