The Metropolitan police have launched an investigation after a shot was fired outside a London mosque during prayers for Ramadan.
Police said there were no injuries, and they believe the shot came from a blank-firing handgun, and significantly, they were not treating it as a terrorist incident.
The single shot was fired outside a mosque in Ilford in east London at 10.45pm (BST).
The man with the weapon entered the mosque on the High Road in Seven Kings, but was “ushered out” by those inside, according to police. A shot was then heard.
The incident comes after 51 people were killed in the Christchurch mosque massacre in New Zealand and nearly two years after a terrorist attacked worshippers close to the Finsbury Park mosque in north London, killing one person.
In a statement, Mufti Suhail, the imam of the Seven Kings mosque, said a man entered the building during prayers. “The suspect ran from the scene when stopped by brothers standing guard at the mosque,” the statement said.
Armed officers were rushed to the scene and police are hunting for the suspect.
In a statement the Met said, “Officers, including firearms officers, attended. There were no reported injuries or damage to the building. At this early stage, ballistic evidence recovered from the scene suggests that the weapon was a blank firing handgun.”
The statement said a “large police presence” remained at the scene.
UK Muslim groups made efforts to boost security at mosques after the attack in Christchurch.