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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 April 2019

Man brandishing hammer attacks worshipper at London mosque

A number of suspected far-right incidents were reported over the weekend across England in the aftermath of the New Zealand mosque shootings

A mosque in Central London, Britain. EPA
A mosque in Central London, Britain. EPA

Two men in their 20s have been caught on camera in London brandishing a hammer or other blunt object before attacking a worshipper near a mosque in East London today.

British media reported that the assault took place on Friday, only hours after 50 people were killed at two mosques in New Zealand by a white supremacist.

Eyewitnesses said the men called worshippers attending Friday prayers at a nearby mosque “terrorists”. British Muslims called for increased police protection at mosques as they fear a similar attack in the UK.

The London Metropolitan Police confirmed that an Asian man, 27, sustained head injuries after being attacked with a hammer or another “blunt object”.

A number of suspected far-right incidents were reported over the weekend across England in the aftermath of the New Zealand mosque shootings.

Reports emerged on Twitter that a group of men had been caught with flaming rags soaked in petrol outside a Muslim prayer centre in Southall, West London.

Counter Terrorism Police have launched an investigation into an incident on Saturday night that was declared a terror attack inspired by the far right, following the arrest of a man suspected of aggravated murder in Surrey, UK.

A teenager was stabbed by 50-year-old suspect, who was wielding a knife and baseball bat and shouting. He was later detained by Surrey police in Stanwell, near Heathrow airport.

The 19-year-old victim was taken to hospital, where he is still being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Head of counter-terrorism policing Neil Basu said the act has “hallmarks of a terror event, inspired by the far right, and therefore it has been declared a terrorism incident.”

“Police are committed to tackling all forms of toxic extremist ideology, which has the potential to threaten public safety and security,” he said.

Greater Manchester police’s temporary assistant chief constable, Russ Jackson, said that over the weekend there had been “a small number of incidents where people have either posted or made remarks referencing the horrible events in New Zealand, particularly online where people often think it is acceptable to abuse others.”

“The events which happened two days ago in New Zealand continue to cause huge upset with people of all faiths from across Greater Manchester,” he said.

Two people were arrested in Rochdale, north England, after allegedly threatening a taxi driver and making reference to the New Zealand mosque attacks.

A 38-year-old woman from Rochdale was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence after posting comments online about the mass shootings.

A man from Oldham, five miles southeast of Rochdale, was arrested on Saturday for allegedly posting comments on social media supporting the killings.

Fifty people were killed in the shootings at two mosques in New Zealand on Friday by suspect Brenton Tarrant, 28, who is a self-proclaimed white supremacist.

The gunman sent a “manifesto” to the office of the New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, and that of more than 30 parliamentarians minutes before the terrorist attack.

Updated: March 17, 2019 10:51 PM

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