UK: 6 Hurt as Vehicle Strikes People at Muslim Prayer Event
Six people, including three children, were injured Sunday after a car ran into pedestrians outside a sports center in the northern English city of Newcastle where people gathered to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. Police said the incident was not believed to be terror-related.
Northumbria Police said they arrested a 42-year-old woman, who remained in police custody. The force said it was not looking for other suspects in the incident outside Westgate Sports Center on Sunday morning.
They say a full investigation was underway to determine what happened, but “there is nothing to suggest that this is terror-related.” Extra officers were put on patrol to reassure people.
A statement from the nearby Newcastle Central Mosque, which organized Sunday’s family event “Eid in the Open,” said the collision took place as people were leaving after prayers.
“Immediately after the Eid prayers when the people were starting to leave the venue, a car collided with pedestrians. The injured were immediately attended to by the emergency medical services and the police,” it said.
Video on social media, apparently taken minutes after the crash, showed a field where dozens of people in Muslim dress, including children, were screaming and rushing forward to see what happened.
The ambulance service said three children and three adults were being treated at a local hospital for injuries sustained in the crash.
Newcastle lawmaker Chi Onwurah said on Twitter that she was one of thousands celebrating Eid in the city. “I was at the prayers earlier and there was so much joy and unity. Thinking of those affected by what I am told was terrible accident,” Onwurah tweeted.
Britain is on high alert for terror-related incidents involving vehicles after a string of recent attacks. A man drove a van into Muslim worshippers leaving two London mosques on June 19, killing one and injuring others. Police said that was a terror attack directed at Muslims.