In a terror attack on late Saturday night in London, a vehicle veered off the road and mowed down civilians on London Bridge, while multiple knife stabbings were reported and gunshots were heard at nearby Borough Market. In a statement, Mark Rowley, assistant commissioner for the Metropolitan police said that at least 6 people have died in the attack in addition to the three suspects. The police official said the attackers mowed down civilians with a white van, while driving from London Bridge to Borough Market after 10 pm on Saturday night. The attackers stepped down from the van at the Market and started stabbing people.
The attackers also stabbed a police officer, who sustained serious injuries, Rowley said. Police also confirmed that armed forces confronted the three suspects and shot them down within eight minutes of the first call to emergency services. According to London Ambulance Service, 48 injured victims have been admitted across six hospitals in London after the attack at London Bridge.
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) June 3, 2017
British television news channel BBC displayed a photograph of two possible London attackers who were shot down by police. One of the alleged attacker was seen with canisters strapped to his body, but police confirmed the canisters or vests on the body of one of the suspects were “established to be hoaxes”. Giving the timeline on the incidents, The Metropolitan police said,” From 22.08hrs [on] 3 June officers responded to reports of a vehicle in collision with pedestrians on London Bridge. Officers have then responded to reports of stabbings in Borough Market. Armed officers responded and shots have been fired. Officers subsequently responded to an incident in the Vauxhall area. At 00.25hrs [on] 4 June the incidents at London Bridge and Borough Market were declared as terrorist incidents.”
After the attack, police sent out security advice to residents of London on Twitter, in which they asked civilians to “run, hide, tell” if they were caught in the attack. Police also asked people to share images and videos they have to help them in their investigation, according to The Guardian. Three major London hospitals are on lockdown after attacks near London Bridge. “Due to the ongoing incident in central London, Guy’s, St Thomas’ & @EvelinaLondon are on lockdown to keep patients, relatives and staff safe,” the authorities tweeted. London Mayor Sadiq Khan described the London attacks as “deliberate and cowardly attack on innocent Londoners”. He also urged the people to remain calm.
London bridge bar now. Police everywhere pic.twitter.com/0gWH9jhgdX
— James Yates (@Yatesy17) June 3, 2017
British PM Theresa May is scheduled to hold an emergency security meeting on Sunday. In a statement after the attack, May said, “Following updates from police and security officials, I can confirm that the terrible incident in London is being treated as a potential act of terrorism.” She further expressed her gratitude to the police and emergency services. “This is a fast moving investigation,” May said. “I want to express my huge gratitude to the police and emergency services who are on the scene. Our thoughts are with those who are caught up in these dreadful events.”
BREAK: PM statement pic.twitter.com/PXOtlx91qv
— Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) June 3, 2017
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condemned the attacks, describing the events in London as “shocking”. “Attacks in London are shocking & anguishing. We condemn them. My thoughts are with families of the deceased & prayers with the injured,” the prime minister said in a post on Twitter.
US President Donald Trump took to Twitter and pitched for controversial travel ban as an extra security measure for US citizens, amid the on-going investigation in UK. “Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the UK, we will be there – WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!” Trump said in one of two tweets. “We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!” he said in the other.
US state department also issued a statement condemning the attacks. In the statement, the US officials also offered help to UK in its investigation. “We understand UK police are currently treating these as terrorist incidents. The United States stands ready to provide any assistance authorities in the United Kingdom may request,” the statement said. The US officials also hoped for a speedy recovery. “Our hearts are with the families and loved ones of the victims. We wish a full and quick recovery to those injured in the attacks. All Americans stand in solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom.”
The incident occurred just four days before the UK General elections which are scheduled to take place on June 8th. Another terrorist incident took place on 22nd May, when 22 people died and 64 others were injured after a suicide bomber blew himself outside Manchester Arena.