An eyewitness said around 100 worshippers were in the mosque hall at the time of the attack and roughly 20 people jumped on the assailant. "The incident is not being treated as terror related at this time," police said.

Police officers are seen outside the London Central Mosque in London, Britain, February 20, 2020.
Police officers are seen outside the London Central Mosque in London, Britain, February 20, 2020. (Reuters)

A man in his 70s was stabbed inside a London mosque on Thursday, police said, and a suspect was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

"A man, in his 70s, was found injured. His condition has been assessed as non life-threatening," London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

"The incident is not being treated as terror related at this time."

A statement issued by the London Central Mosque where the attack occurred said the assailant was apprehended by worshippers until the police arrived at the scene.

It said the mosque's Muazzin – a religious leader who calls the faithful to prayer – "did not sustain any life-threatening injuries but was seriously injured and is being treated at the hospital"

Pictures posted on Twitter showed police officers restraining a man in the prayer hall of the mosque, near Regents Park, and then leading him away.

An eyewitness said around 100 worshippers were in the mosque hall at the time of the attack and roughly 20 people jumped on the assailant.

"I heard screaming," said the eyewitness, who declined to give his full name, "and then we saw the blood."

He said the victim was a muezzin, the official in a mosque who makes the call for prayer, and that he was stabbed around the top of his shoulder.

The assailant had been attending the mosque for about six months before Thursday's incident, he said.

British Muslims have been the target of past attacks by far-right extremists. In June 2018, an attacker drove a van into a crowd of people leaving evening prayers in London. One man died and a dozen people were injured.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies