Five people were killed and 40 others injured when a terrorist suspect mowed down pedestrians on a bridge and stabbed a police officer outside parliament complex before being shot dead by Scotland Yard officers in an incident inspired by “international terrorism”.
The knife-man behind the attack in the heart of London was shot dead by armed Scotland Yard officers.
The Metropolitan Police named the police officer killed as 48-year-old Keith Palmer and also confirmed that the attacker was “known” to the police.
“I can also now confirm three members of the public also lost their lives in this attack. And I confirmed earlier, the suspected attacker was shot dead by an armed officer – therefore meaning we now have five people in total who have died, said Mark Rowley, national lead for Counter Terrorism Policing and the Acting Deputy Commissioner.
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“I will not comment at this stage on the identity of the attacker, but our working assumption that he was inspired by international terrorism,” Rowley said.
“Also, at this stage, but it may change – we believe approximately 40 people were injured, some with serious injuries, including three police officers, two of whom are in a serious condition,” he said.
Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the terror strike as “sick and depraved” attack on democratic values, which was “doomed to failure”.
May also paid tributes to the “exceptional men and women” of the police force who responded to the attack.
“We will all move forward together, never giving in to terror and never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart,” she said.
Scotland Yard had earlier called on the public to “remain vigilant” and said a review of policing strategy across the city was underway, with additional police officers being deployed across London.
The Indian High Commission in London has set up a special “Public Response Unit” for any Indians caught up in the terror attack.
The incident unfolded on Wednesday afternoon as a man tried to gain entry into the British Parliament via the main entrance and stabbed a police officer. Plainclothes armed officers shouted warnings at him before shooting a number of rounds. He was later seen being covered by blankets, presumed dead.
UK Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the stabbed police officer but said he “died at the scene”.
In an incident just minutes earlier, a speeding grey Hyundai i40 mowed down several pedestrians on Westminster Bridge nearby before ramming into the iron railings of the side of the House of Commons building.
The driver of this vehicle then ran out of the vehicle to try and enter the Parliament building, where he attacked the police officer and was eventually shot dead.
Dozens of injured people were rushed to hospital from the scene and one woman was confirmed dead by doctors at St Thomas Hospital near Parliament hours later.
(With inputs from PTI)