London Bridge attack: Two members of public killed in stabbing terror attack, reports say

Two members of the public have been killed in a suspected terror attack on London Bridge[1], The Independent understands. Police fatally shot the man thought to be the attacker, who was wearing a fake suicide vest, after several people were stabbed. An NHS source with direct knowledge of the emergency response said they were told there were at least three people dead in total and four people with serious stab wounds.

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[2]

The injured members of the public, two men and two women, were taken to London’s major trauma centre at The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Police are understood to be contacting relatives. The attack started shortly before 2pm near the north side of London Bridge, in the City of London.

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Members of staff are ushered into a Fitness First gym

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People are evacuated from London Bridge

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Buses on London Bridge during the incident

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Bystanders and police surrounding a person at the scene of an incident on London Bridge

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Police and emergency services

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Armed police on London Bridge

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A bystander holding a knife after police surrounded a person at the scene

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People fleeing from Borough Market

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Police during the incident

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A white truck across part of London Bridge

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A British Transport Police officer runs after reports of an incident

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Boats from the Metropolitan Police Marine Policing Unit patrol near the scene

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A lorry on the bridge crosses over lanes

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Members of the police and emergency services arriving at Monument tube station

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Members of the public held behind a police cordon

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Police at the scene

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Police evacuate people from Borough Market

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Police surrond a part of the bridge

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A person is assisted after falling when Police evacuated people from Borough Market

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A Police Officer cordons off London Bridge Station

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Members of staff are ushered into a Fitness First gym

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People head away from the vicinity of Borough Market

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Office workers look out of a window at a scene

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Men in forensics suits walk away from the site

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People are evacuated from London Bridge

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Buses on London Bridge during the incident

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A man stabbed several people before being detained by members of the public. Armed police shot the suspect, who was wearing a fake suicide vest, and he died at the scene.

Security sources say that they were not immediately able to establish the attacker’s identity, but there were no immediate indications that he was part of a wider terrorist network. 

Assistant commissioner Neil Basu, the head of UK counterterror policing, said he would give updates to the families of those injured as soon as possible.

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“A number of other people received injuries during this incident.

As soon as we can provide further updates on their condition, we will,” he told a press conference.

“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to everybody who has been involved in this and is anxiously waiting for information on their loved ones.”

Mr Basu confirmed that the attack had been formally declared a terror incident. 

“I must stress, however, that we retain an open mind as to any motive,” he added. “It would not be appropriate to speculate further at this time.”

The attack came weeks after the UK terror threat was downgraded from severe to substantial[3], after Mr Basu said there had been “positive developments in reducing the threat from terrorism”.

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At the time, he said officers were still working on about 800 live counterterror investigations, after foiling 24 plots since the Westminster attack in March 2017.

London Bridge attack: Mayor Sadiq Khan says incident appears to be isolated

Footage filmed from a bus on London Bridge showed several members of the public struggling with the man on the floor.

“He has a knife,” one passenger said as armed police approached. Officers could be heard shouting to the crowd as people started moving back. One member of the public backed away holding a large knife, seconds before a police officer dragged a man attempting to restrain the suspect off him.

A moment later, the suspect was shot.

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A woman could be heard crying on the bus as people shouted “what the f***”. Police closed down a large area on both sides of London Bridge, with people either evacuated or told to stay inside offices, cafes and homes in the area. Boris Johnson said he was being kept updated on developments, adding: “I want to thank the police and all emergency services for their immediate response.”

Priti Patel, the home secretary, said she was “very concerned”. 

“My thoughts are with all affected,” she added. “I am grateful for the rapid response of our police and I urge everyone to follow their advice.”

Jeremy Corbyn said: “Shocking reports from London Bridge.

My thoughts are with those caught up in the incident. Thank you to the police and emergency services who are responding.”

Police on Cannon Street in London near the scene of a terrorist incident on London Bridge (Kirsty O'Connor/PA)

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said his heart went out to everyone injured and affected by the attack.

He thanked emergency services, adding: “Every day they put their lives on the line for us – running towards danger in order to keep London safe.

“We must – and we will – stay resolute in our determination to stand strong and united in the face of terror. Those who seek to attack us and divide us will never succeed.”

The incident happened metres away from the 2017 London Bridge attack.[4]

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That saw three Isis supporters plough a hired van into pedestrians on the bridge, before going on a stabbing rampage in nearby Borough Market.

They killed eight victims before being shot dead by armed police.

The attack, which was the third Islamist atrocity to hit the UK in 2017, caused barriers to be put up on London Bridge and other major crossings over the Thames.

A coroner’s report into preventing future deaths warned that others could die unless authorities made changes.[5]

After presiding over inquests into the deaths of the victims and perpetrators, Mark Lucraft QC, the chief coroner of England and Wales, called for MI5, counterterror police, the government and other authorities to take “action to prevent future deaths”.

He raised concern about the way potential lone terrorists are assessed by the security services, and was critical of the failure to install barriers on London Bridge before the attack.

References

  1. ^ London Bridge (www.independent.co.uk)
  2. ^ Download now (independent.onelink.me)
  3. ^ downgraded from severe to substantial (www.independent.co.uk)
  4. ^ 2017 London Bridge attack. (www.independent.co.uk)
  5. ^ others could die unless authorities made changes. (www.independent.co.uk)

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