UK police: possible hate crime outside Muslim center; 3 hurt

Police said the injuries are not life threatening although two people needed hospital treatment. (File/AFP)
Updated 19 September 2018
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UK police: possible hate crime outside Muslim center; 3 hurt

  • Officials said some anti-Muslim comments were made and the car reportedly sustained minor damage from some of the people from the center
  • Police said the injuries are not life threatening although two people needed hospital treatment

LONDON: British police are investigating a possible hate crime after a car hit pedestrians near a Muslim community center, injuring three people.
Police were called early Wednesday morning after a confrontation developed between four people in a car and a large group of people visiting a Muslim community center and mosque in the Cricklewood area of northwest London.
Officials said some anti-Muslim comments were made and the car reportedly sustained minor damage from some of the people from the center. It then sped off, hitting three people without stopping.
Police said the injuries are not life threatening although two people needed hospital treatment. The case is not being treated as related to terrorism.
The Hussaini Association, which had organized a lecture at the mosque, called the collision “a suspected premeditated Islamophobic attack.”
In a statement, the group said the car “swerved into innocent bystanders” and the occupants were heard shouting anti-Islamic taunts just before the attack.
Police are searching for the car and its occupants, reported as three men and a woman.
“This incident is not being treated as terror-related but the hate crime aspect of the collision is being looked at by detectives as an aggravating factor,” police said in a statement.


Venezuela’s deputy UN military attache backs Guaido

Maduro says Guaido is leading a US-directed coup against him. (AFP)
Updated 21 February 2019
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Venezuela’s deputy UN military attache backs Guaido

  • Chirinos has called Maduro’s government “illegally constituted.”

WASHINGTON: Venezuela’s deputy UN military attache, Col. Pedro Chirinos, said in a video on social media that he recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president, increasing pressure on President Nicolas Maduro.
US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, highlighted Chirinos’ announcement in a note posted on Twitter on Wednesday but misidentified him as the military attache to the United Nations.
“Venezuela’s military attache to the United Nations, Col. Pedro Chirinos, has announced his official recognition of Juan Guaido as Interim President of Venezuela,” Bolton said in his note.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said he was not aware of any notifications from the Venezuelan UN mission on changes to its delegation.
In a video shared by Bolton on Twitter, Chirinos identified himself and called Maduro’s government “illegally constituted,” while dressed in a military uniform and standing in front of the flags of Venezuela and the United Nations.
“I recognize, and offer my support and obedience, to the transition government led by the president, Juan Guaido,” Chirinos said.
The United States and scores of other countries have openly backed Guaido, who last month invoked constitutional provisions to assume the interim presidency after declaring Maduro’s re-election last year illegitimate.
Maduro retains the support of Russia and China and control of Venezuelan state institutions, including the security services. He says Guaido is leading a US-directed coup against him.