UK police launch probe into shooting attack on London mosque

The police in the British capital London are investigating a shooting attack on a mosque in an eastern neighborhood of the city.

Scotland Yard said on Saturday that a masked man had fired his gun just outside Seven Kings Mosque late on Thursday when worshippers were holding prayer ceremonies marking the early days of the holy month of Ramadan.

Police said worshippers had engaged the gunman when he was entering the mosque and forced him out before he started shooting.

They said the gun used in the event was blank-firing and no one had been hurt.

“At this early stage, ballistic evidence recovered from the scene suggests that the weapon was a blank-firing handgun,” said the police, adding, “Officers will continue to work closely with representatives from the mosque and are providing reassurance to the local community.”

The mosque’s imam Mufti Suhail urged people not to speculate over the gunman’s motives.

“There was a firearm incident outside Seven Kings Mosque tonight during Ramadan night prayers,” said Suhail, “The suspect ran from the scene when stopped by brothers standing guard at the mosque.”

The attack comes amid heightened concerns about the safety of Muslims in British mosques, especially during Ramadan when places of worship are normally crowded.

It also comes after several minor assaults on mosques and Muslims in Britain which were allegedly inspired by a mass shooting of Muslims in two mosques in Christchurch in New Zealand last month.

A total of 50 Muslims were killed in those attacks, prompting massive concerns that Muslim minorities in Western countries could face more harassment and abuse in future.

“(Christchurch) comes to mind, it’s crazy to think this would happen in London, especially after everything that has happened,” said a Muslim citizen of London following the shooting attack on Seven Kings Mosque.

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