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

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

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 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.  

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

Police shut gates surrounding the mosque (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

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. 

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

Emergency services attend the scene a fatal stabbing in Cunningham Place

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.”

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

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.”

High-vis clad officers are at the scene

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. 

Armed officers surrounded the building (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

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.”

A Metropolitan Police statement read: “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.”

This page is being updated.

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