• British Prime Minister Theresa May says a terrorist attack on Muslims in London is sickening. (AAP)
Police are treating a van attack on worshippers leaving a London mosque as a terror attack and have arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder.
Source:
AAP
20 Jun - 7:12 AM 

British Prime Minister Theresa May says an incident in which a van ploughed into worshippers near a London mosque, injuring 10 people, two of them seriously, is a sickening, terrorist attack on Muslims.

The vehicle swerved into a group of people shortly after midnight on Monday as they left prayers at the Muslim Welfare House and the nearby Finsbury Park Mosque in north London.

The driver, a 48-year-old man, was grabbed at the scene by locals and pinned down until police arrived. He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

After being seized, the man said he had wanted to kill "many Muslim people," one witness told journalists.

A man, who had earlier suffered a heart attack, died at the scene but it was not clear if his death was connected to the van attack.

"This morning, our country woke to news of another terrorist attack on the streets of our capital city: the second this month and every bit as sickening as those which have come before," May told reporters outside her Downing Street office.

"This was an attack on Muslims near their place of worship," said May who later visited the mosque.

The mosques' worshippers, mainly from North and West Africa, had just left prayers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Usain Ali, 28, said he heard a bang and ran for his life.

"When I looked back, I thought it was a car accident, but people were shouting, screaming and I realised this was a man choosing to terrorise people who are praying," he told Reuters.

Another witness Yann Bouhllissa, 38, said he had been tending an old man who had suffered a heart attack when the van was driven at them.

"One guy caught the guy and brought him down," Bouhllissa told Reuters. "When he was on the floor, the guy asked 'why do you do that?'. He said 'Because I want to kill many Muslim people'."

Mohammed Mahmoud, the imam from the Muslim Welfare House, stepped in to ensure the van driver was not hurt until he was bundled into a police van.

"We found that a group of people quickly started to collect around him ... and some tried to hit him either with kicks or punches. By God's grace we managed to surround him and to protect him from any harm," Mahmoud told reporters.

In addition to the man who died, 10 people were injured, with eight taken to hospital, two in a very serious condition, police said.

Security Minister Ben Wallace said the driver was "not known to the authorities in the space of extremism or far-right extremism".

The latest incident took place just over two weeks after three Islamist militants drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed people at nearby restaurants and bars, killing eight..

A suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester, northern England, in May also killed 22 people, while in March, a man drove a rented car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London and stabbed a policeman to death before being shot dead. Five people were killed in that attack.

Police have said hate crimes rose after the London Bridge attack and more officers would be deployed to provide reassurance to mosques.