Worshippers leaving a London mosque just after midnight on Monday were helping an unwell elderly man when a van deliberately targeted them, eyewitnesses said, driven by an attacker who shouted: "I want to kill all Muslims".

The van swerved towards the people outside the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London just as they began to assist the man, who had collapsed.

"He turned left into the alleyway, and he just drove at people," eyewitness Abdiqadir Warra told AFP.

"Some of them he took a few metres. A man was inside in the van, I saw with my eye, and the old man was also on the ground, and I see some people were also injured. Some of them were very bad."

Locals then pounced on the driver and pinned him down while waiting for the police to arrive.

"The man, he tried to escape... but they caught the driver," Warra said.

Eyewitness Khalid Amin told BBC television that the van turned deliberately left and "just hit the people".

One man was trapped under the van and people tried to lift up the vehicle to free him.

Amin said that when people seized the driver, "he was shouting: 'All Muslims, I want to kill all Muslims.' Literally, he said that. Word by word."

Police said that one man had been arrested at the scene and that no further suspects had been identified.

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