mosque stabbing
© The Guardian/Youtube
Screenshot: Footage appears to show man arrested at London mosque after stabbing
Scotland Yard has launched an investigation into the attempted murder of a man who was stabbed at a mosque during afternoon prayers.

The mosque's muezzin, who calls others to prayers, was said to have been stabbed in the neck, according to one witness who posted a video showing the alleged attacker being detained by police at London Central Mosque in Regent's Park.

The Metropolitan police confirmed the injured man was aged in his 70s. He had been assessed in hospital after being treated by paramedics at the scene and his condition was not life-threatening.

A man, who one witness said was a regular at the mosque, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, police said.

"A 29-year-old man, who is believed to have been attending prayers, was arrested inside the mosque on suspicion of attempted murder. He has been taken into custody at a central London police station," the Met said in a statement. "The incident is not being treated as terror-related at this time."

A Twitter user posted footage of a white man wearing a red top and jeans, sitting crossed-legged in the mosque, apparently being held in cuffs behind his back by a police officer.

The Twitter user said the victim had been taken to hospital after being "stabbed in the neck" during prayers.

One witness said the suspect had been a regular at the mosque, and had been seen there at least six months ago.

Abi Watik, 59, said: "We were shocked. We didn't know what was happening."

He said the victim had been stabbed once in the right shoulder moments after prayers had started, and he believed the suspect had waited for that moment.

"It had just started and he was waiting for them to start. He was praying behind him and then he stabbed him. He [the suspect] was silent the whole time."

Boris Johnson tweeted that he was "deeply saddened" by the attack and added: "It's so awful that this should happen, especially in a place of worship."

Images posted on social media showed the alleged attacker, who was barefoot, being pinned to the floor of the mosque by police officers as worshippers looked on. In one video, a knife was seen on the floor under a plastic chair.

A Met spokesman said police were called to reports of a stabbing at the Park Road mosque at 3.10pm on Thursday.

"Officers attended along with paramedics from the London ambulance service. A man was found with stab injuries.

"He was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital ... A man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder. A crime scene has been put in place. Inquiries continue."

The ambulance service said the victim had been taken to a major trauma centre.

The service tweeted: "We sent an ambulance crew, a paramedic in a car and an advanced paramedic practitioner to this incident in Regent's Park.

"We treated a man at the scene and took him to a major trauma centre."