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A tirade of anti-Muslim abuse, then car ploughs into crowd

Attack:
Injured man
is treated
outside
mosque after
hit-and-run PIC: SJPEACE/TWITTER

WORSHIPPERS hit by a car in an apparent anti-Muslim attack are ‘extremely fortunate’ to be alive, a police chief said.

Three people were hurt when the vehicle mowed down pedestrians outside a mosque in Cricklewood, north-west London, early yesterday.

A man in his 50s is in hospital with a serious leg injury and two men in their 20s were treated for minor injuries, Scotland Yard said.

People in the car allegedly shouted ‘you dirty Muslims’ before driving at a crowd leaving a lecture at the Al-majlis Al-Hussaini centre at 12.30am.

Hate crime: Police and security officials outside the Islamic centre PIC: PA

Witnesses said the Nissan’s occupants — three men and a woman in their mid-20s — had just been told to leave a private car park where they had been drinking, taking drugs and behaving anti-socially.

Met Ch Supt Simon Rose said: ‘The people who had been challenged then drove at members of the community in a car. The vehicle drove off and was involved in a fail-to-stop accident. We were extremely fortunate there was no loss of life.’

He said the incident is being treated as an Islamophobic hate crime.

In a statement posted on social media, the Hussaini Association, which organised the lecture, said people in the red Nissan Juke ‘were heard shouting anti-Islamic taunts’ before the car ‘swerved into innocent bystanders, hitting at least five people’.

It added: ‘Fortunately, a number of volunteers stood between the vehicle and patrons heading home. These acts of bravery potentially saved the lives of dozens of innocent people.’

Detectives are analysing CCTV in a bid to trace the driver. No arrests have been made.