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Man arrested for attempted murder after stabbing at London mosque

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By Henry Austin  with NBC News World News
Image: London Central Mosque
Police officers are seen outside the London Central Mosque in London, Britain, on Feb. 20, 2020.   -   Copyright  Simon Dawson

LONDON — A man was arrested for attempted murder after a stabbing at a mosque in central London Thursday, police in Britain's capital said.

Officers were called to the London Central Mosque & The Islamic Cultural Centre at 3:10 p.m. local time (10:10 a.m. ET), London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement. The mosque is less than 3 miles from Buckingham Palace.

"A man was found with stab injuries," the statement said, adding that he was taken to hospital. A spokesperson for the force later confirmed the injured man was in his 70s. They said he had been assessed in hospital and his condition was not life-threatening.

"A man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder," the statement said.

Images posted to social media showed a white man in a red hooded top, jeans and bare feet being pinned to the floor by police officers inside the mosque, as others, including a small child, watched on. One video showed a knife on the floor under a plastic chair.

No one from the mosque was available for comment.

The attack came less than 24 hours after a gunman killed 10 people in two separate attacks outside hookah lounges and at a residence in the German city of Hanau, before fatally shooting himself.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed that early indications suggested it was a racist, far-right attack.

Speaking in Berlin Thursday morning, she said: "There are many indications at the moment that the perpetrator acted on right-wing extremist, racist motives, out of hatred towards people of other origins, religion or appearance.

"Racism is poison, hatred is poison and this poison exists in society and it is to blame for too many crimes."