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Politicians and religious figures condemn terror attack near north London mosque

A police officer walks past a forensic tent next to a van in Finsbury Park, north London, where one man has died after the vehicle struck pedestrians. Picture by Victoria Jones/PA Wire

POLITICIANS and religious figures have called for calm in the aftermath of the terror attack near a mosque in north London.

One person died after pedestrians were targeted by a man driving a van near Finsbury Park Mosque early on Monday.

A 47-year-old man who was arrested over the Finsbury Park attack has been further arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism including murder and attempted murder, Scotland Yard said. 

Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann said his "thoughts and prayers are with those targeted in this latest attack".

"Targeting those who were attending prayers during Ramadan is wicked and we must stand against those who seek to plunge society into a vicious cycle of violence," he said.

"Extremism in all its shapes and forms must be removed from society. It is vital that we give our support to the intelligence and security services to help them in preventing these elements from bringing further devastation."

Alliance leader Naomi Long also said it is "vital we do not let this develop into a pattern of revenge attacks".

"The atmosphere allowing and in some cases encouraging attacks on Muslims does nothing but play into the hands of extremists, while at the same time targeting innocent people," she said.

"Instead of using our diversity to divide us and play into the politics of fear, we need to celebrate it and highlight how it makes us stronger as a community."

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, an Islamic community in Ireland, said it condemned in "strongest term, the cowardly attack on worshippers".

"This is a attack on values of peace," a spokesman said.

"We should do all measures to counteract the terrorism of hate, that is attempting to create an atmosphere of fear and divisions between different communities.

"This is time when we should all stand together against extremists whatever their cause may be."

Rev Laurence Graham, president of the Methodist Church in Ireland, called for prayers for all those affected adding "our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those who have died those who are injured and those who mourn".

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