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London Bridge stabbing terror attack: Two killed and suspect shot dead by UK police

Forensics officers are seen near the site of an incident at London Bridge in London, Britain, November 29, 2019.
Forensics officers are seen near the site of an incident at London Bridge in London, Britain, November 29, 2019. Peter Nicholls, Reuters

British police shot dead a man on London Bridge on Friday after several people were injured in a stabbing incident near the bridge in the centre of the British capital, Metropolitan Police said. Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu added that the stabbing has been declared a “terrorist incident”. Besides the suspect, two other people were killed, police said.

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According to Basu, the UK’s top counter-terrorism officer, the man shot dead was wearing what police now believe was a hoax explosive device. Apart from the suspect, two other people were killed during the rampage,the Metropolitan Police confirmed, after reports by the BBC.

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to inform you that as well as the suspect who was shot dead by the police two of those injured in this attack in the London Bridge area have tragically lost their lives," said Commissioner Cressida Dick.

Police also said three more people were injured in the stabbing spree, which revived memories of a three-man attack on London Bridge two years ago that killed eight people.

"Due to reports that the suspect may have had an explosive device, specialist officers also attended the scene, and wide cordons are in place to ensure there remains no further danger to the public," Basu told reporters.

"However, I can confirm at this time we believe a device that was strapped to the body of the suspect is a hoax explosive device", he added.

Basu said he was heading to Downing Street to give Prime Minister Boris Johnson a full briefing on the incident.

Several injured, ‘some seriously’, mayor says

London Mayor Sadiq Khan told reporters that "it has been confirmed that a number of people were injured, some seriously", although he did not offer a figure, adding that the stabbing appeared to be an isolated incident, and therefore, police are not looking for any other suspects.

Sadiq also praised the courage of the public during the knife rampage: "What's remarkable about the images we've seen is the breath-taking heroism of members of the public who literally ran towards danger not knowing what confronted them".

Khan added that man had been wearing a fake bomb. "Members of the public didn't realise at the time that was a hoax device, and they really are the best of us," Khan added.

‘Major incident’

Earlier, the force tweeted that it was called to a stabbing at a premises near the bridge at 1:58 pm (1358 GMT). "A man has been detained by police. We believe a number of people have been injured," it added.

The London Ambulance Service also declared a “major incident” at London Bridge, adding there are “a number of crews at the scene”, it tweeted on Friday.

A BBC reporter on the bridge at the time said he saw what appeared to be a fight between a group of men, heard two shots and saw a man "prone" on the ground.

The incident happened on the north side of the bridge. People in the area were quickly ushered away from the scene, images on social media indicated.

One eyewitness told the BBC she and other people in the area rushed into a restaurant on the bridge and were told by staff to take cover. "They went, 'Get under the table, shots have been fired. Gunshots'," said the woman.

Footage by one Twitter user, AmandaHunter87, filmed from a bus on the southbound carriageway, appeared to show two armed officers pointing guns towards a man on the ground.

Other images from a high vantage point posted by another Twitter user, Clarerobbo1000, appeared to show the same moment. A third officer was standing by the two officers with their weapons raised.

In June 2017 eight people were killed and some 48 people were seriously injured when Islamist extremists in a van ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge before attacking people at random.

The three attackers were shot dead by police.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

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