A van ran over pedestrians on the London Bridge and multiple people were stabbed in nearby bars, killing at least 6 people and injuring nearly 50 others, British officials say. The three attackers were shot dead by police.
The attack began at about 10:08 p.m. local time on Saturday when a white van ran over pedestrians on the London Bridge. The vehicle then continued to nearby Borough Market, where three men emerged from the vehicle and began stabbing people.
“Armed officers responded very quickly and bravely, confronting three male suspects who were shot and killed in Borough Market,” said Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley of the Metropolitan Police Service. “The suspects had been confronted and shot by the police within 8 minutes of the first call.”
Authorities confirmed on early Sunday morning that at least 6 victims died at the scene, while 48 others were taken to 5 hospitals across London. There was no immediate word on their conditions. An unknown number of other people were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Rowley said the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack, though there was no immediate claim of responsibility. He said the three attackers – whose identities were not immediately known – were wearing fake explosive belts.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, who called the attack “appalling,” will hold an emergency cabinet meeting on Sunday morning. “I want to express my huge gratitude to the police and emergency services who are on the scene,” she said in a statement.
It was not immediately clear whether the UK’s terror threat level – which is currently at “serious” – would again be raised to “critical.” Rowley said police in London are planning to deploy additional officers across the capital in the coming days.
“I would like to ask the public to remain vigilant and let us know if they see anything suspicious that causes them concern and dial 999 immediately,” he said.
Saturday’s attack comes less than 2 weeks after a suicide bomber blew himself up at the Manchester Arena, killing 22 people after a concert by singer Ariana Grande. A benefit concert featuring Ariana Grande and other celebrities is set to take place in Manchester on Sunday evening. The attack also comes just days before the UK’s general election, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday.
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