London Police Kill Man, Declare Terrorist Incident on London Bridge
By Marissa Melton November 29, 2019
British police say two stabbing victims have died in addition to a knife-wielding attacker who was confronted and killed Friday on London Bridge, in an attack police are treating as an act of terrorism.
Police Commissioner Cressida Dick confirmed the deaths Friday evening, adding that three other people were wounded in the incident that ended with police shooting the assailant.
Police said the attacker was wearing a fake suicide device when he began a knife attack on pedestrians at the north end of the iconic London Bridge.
A number of civilians apparently fought back, tackling the man and wresting the knife away from him. Amateur video posted on Twitter shows police converging on the struggle and an individual being dragged off by police. Police then shot the man dead at close range.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of London's Metropolitan Police told reporters the incident has been deemed a terrorist attack.
British media, citing unnamed government sources, said the attacker had previously been in prison and had links to Islamic extremist groups. Officials would not confirm the information, however, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "It is a mistake to allow serious and violent criminals to come out of prison early, and it is very important that we get out of that habit."
He tweeted earlier that anyone responsible for the attack will be "hunted down and will be brought to justice."
London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the incident. Speaking outside Scotland Yard, Khan appealed to Londoners to remain united in the face of terrorism.
"Those who seek to attack us and divide us will never succeed," he said.
He also praised the civilians who confronted the suspect and the first responders who took over, noting "they literally ran towards danger," and calling them "the very best of our humanity."
Pedestrians were cleared from the bridge and a wide area was cordoned off around the scene.
An eyewitness told the Financial Times he saw police "swarm" the bridge and paramedics carrying people off the bridge on stretchers.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has tweeted support for those affected by the attack and suspended his Labour party's political campaigning for the evening, ahead of a Dec. 12 election.
In the U.S., the White House issued a statement saying President Donald Trump had been briefed on the incident. The statement strongly condemned all acts of violence on innocent people and pledged support for the United Kingdom.
London Bridge was the site of a 2017 terrorist attack. Eight people died and 48 were injured when the driver of a van plowed into pedestrians on the bridge before crashing into the south bank of the Thames River. Three occupants exited the van and began stabbing people in nearby restaurants and pubs before being killed by police. They, too, were found to be wearing fake explosive vests.
Members of the public were also reported to have assisted in the apprehension of those attackers.
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