Police are investigating a shot that was fired outside a mosque in East London during Ramadan prayers on the evening of May 9. They were called to reports of a man who entered the Seven Kings mosque in the Ilford district with a firearm.
The incident comes during the Muslim month of Ramadan, when followers fast from sunup to sundown.
At the time, evening prayers were being held at the mosque located off High Road. According to the BBC, the worshippers had reportedly ushered the man out of the building when a gunshot was then heard.
Eye-witnesses said the worshippers stopped the gunman from getting back inside before the shot was fired, according to the Sun.
According to Mirror.co.uk, the Met Police said: “Police were called at 22.45pm on Thursday, May 9, to reports that a man, believed to be in possession of a firearm, had entered a mosque on High Road in Seven Kings.
“The man was ushered outside of the building by those inside. A gunshot was then heard.
“Officers, including firearms officers, attended. There were no reported injuries. A large police presence remains at the scene.
“At this early stage, ballistic evidence recovered from the scene suggests that the weapon was a blank firing handgun.
“Officers will continue to work closely with representatives from the mosque and are providing reassurance to the local community. The Trident and Area Crime Command has been informed and the investigation is being led by detectives from the East Area Command Unit.
“There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.”
They also said they did not believe the incident was terrorism-related.
The Sun reported that Mufti Suhail, Imam of Seven Kings Mosque, said in a statement: “There is a full police presence outside the mosque and we would like to reassure the community the police have sealed the area and there were no injuries.”
Short videos posted by social media users on Twitter show police presence at the scene.
There are no reported injuries.
A large police presence will remain in the area overnight. pic.twitter.com/gI378XN3h6
— London 999 Feed (@999London) May 9, 2019
— Ibbs Targaryen ???? (@ibbycasanova_) May 9, 2019
Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North, thanked the police for their response.
He wrote on Twitter: “I am aware of the reports of a man with a firearm at Seven Kings Mosque during prayers tonight and am relieved that no one appears to have been hurt or injured.
“Thank you to Redbridge Borough Police for a swift response.
“I will in touch with Police in the morning re: mosque security.”
I am aware of the reports of a man with a firearm at Seven Kings Mosque during prayers tonight and am relieved that no one appears to have been hurt or injured. Thank you to @MPSRedbridge for a swift response. I will in touch with Police in the morning re: mosque security.
— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) May 9, 2019
The incident comes as concerns over security at places of worship are increasing.
This was followed by the Easter Sunday mass suicide bombings at churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. At least 290 people were killed and 500 people injured in the attacks since claimed by ISIS.
In yet another incident, a gunman opened fire at a synagogue in San Diego, California, on April 27. One woman was killed and three others wounded.
Anyone with information about the mosque shooting is asked to contact officers via 101 quoting ref: 8585/09May.