Westminster stabbing: Armed police surround Regent's Park mosque after man knifed to death nearby and 'attackers fled to place of worship'

Police surround Regent's Park mosque after man knifed to death nearby 

Armed police swooped on a mosque near Regent's Park in the hunt for suspects after a man was stabbed to death in central London on Thursday evening. 

A man was found with stab wounds at a housing block in Cunningham Place, Westminster, at about 6.15pm on Thursday. The suspects had fled the scene, police said.

The victim, believed to be in his early twenties, was treated in Elmton Court before being taken to hospital where he later died.

Images circulating on social media showed police at London Central Mosque following the incident, where a witness said two people ran towards shortly after the knife attack.

Police at London Central Mosque after stabbing nearby - In pictures

Scotland Yard said the stabbing, which was around half a mile from the mosque, was not terror related.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said the incident was linked to police activity at the mosque, where pictures showed a large number of police on the scene.

At around 10pm, a helicopter was still circling above the mosque and surrounding area as armed officers could be seen walking through one room of the sprawling religious building.

Emergency services attend the scene a fatal stabbing in Cunningham Place

Bahir Moulana, 39, said as he was walking towards the mosque the police were pushing people back then closed the main gate.

Areas around the mosque are cordoned off (Georgina Stubbs/PA Wire)

He said armed police on the scene gave him the "jitters" and added: "I saw all the blue lights and my heart was in my mouth.

"There was one girl who said she saw two guys run in. Someone else told me the police were chasing them."

High-vis clad officers are at the scene

John Stealer, a taxi driver who drove by the scene, told the Standard: "I could see a massive police presence outside the mosque and I could hear the helicopter above.

"I could see the flashing lights from a distance.

"When I heard the buzz of the helicopter I thought it was being taken seriously."

Another witness told the Standard gates around the mosque were locked and there was "a mass of people" outside.

Some people were said to be unable to leave the mosque though a number have started to be allowed to exit, according to reports.

Social media users had described it as being "on lockdown" and a section of the A41 Park Road was also closed off by police.

Following news of the attack Karen Buck, Labour MP for Westminster North, said: "Deeply saddened to hear this awful news. Police have been in contact with me and we await further details."

At the scene in Cunningham Place, a large collection of used and discarded medical equipment including bloodied bandages could be seen in the middle of the road.

A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: "I looked out of the window at around 6.30pm and I saw him on the floor... he was already getting CPR."

Before the incident she said she heard someone saying "What happened? What have you done?" ahead of going out to see what was going on.

A police search dog could be seen scouring around the area.

A police cordon was in place at the mosque following the incident, with officers flanking parts of the building's perimeter.

The Metropolitan Police said in statement: "Police were called at 18:15hrs on Thursday, 28 March to Elmton Court, Cunningham Place NW8 following reports of a man having been attacked.

"Officers attended with LAS.

"A male [no further details] was found suffering from stab injuries. He was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital, where he sadly died.

"Enquiries continue to trace the suspects, who fled the scene.

"There have been no arrests.

"A crime scene is in place."


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