Six victims have died and over 30 have been taken to the hospital after a terrorist attack on London Bridge. Police say that the three perpetrators, who mowed down civilians in a van, before getting out and going on a stabbing spree, have been killed.
London Metropolitan Police confirmed that at least six people were killed near London Bridge by attackers. Three perpetrators were shot dead, they added.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley has given the fullest picture so far of the attack.
“At this stage, we believe that six people have died in addition to the three attackers shot dead by police.
And at least 20 casualties have been taken to six hospitals across London,” Rowley said as quoted in a police statement.
London’s ambulance service confirmed that the nearly 50 people injured in the attack had been taken to various hospitals.
The Metropolitan Police said they first received calls at 22:08 pm on Saturday night, when bystanders said that a white van rammed into a group of civilians on London Bridge, before crashing into a railing near Borough Market.
“The suspects then left the vehicle and a number of people were stabbed, including an on-duty British Transport Police officer who was responding to the incident at London Bridge.
He received serious but not life-threatening injuries.
His family has been informed,” said a statement from Scotland Yard.
Police say that the attackers were dead “within eight minutes” of the first emergency call.
“Armed officers responded very quickly and bravely, confronting three male suspects who were shot and killed in Borough Market.
The suspects had been confronted and shot by the police within eight minutes of the first call.
The suspects were wearing what looked like explosive vests but these were later established to be hoaxes,” said the Met Police.
Blue Thunder, a fast-response unit of the UK’s special forces, the SAS, has been deployed to the streets of London. Their trademark navy helicopter, which earned them the nickname, landed at London Bridge earlier during the night.
As is customary during emergencies, both police and the health services have been overwhelmed with calls.
“If you are safe please let friends and family know. This will relieve pressure on Casualty Bureau,” the Met Police has tweeted.
London Bridge, which connects the northern and southern sides of the city, will remain closed overnight British Transport Police have stated. The area is still currently behind a police cordon.
Eyewitnesses have described the moment when the knife-wielding gang emerged out of the van, after crashing, following their pavement rampage.
Witness Erick Siguenza told the BBC that one of the assailants cried “This is for Allah!” as he ran towards bystanders.
Mark Roberts, who was on London Bridge, said that he was literally paralyzed by fear, when the incident unfolded.
“I was thinking: Which way do I run to get away?” he told Reuters.
“This was the Westminster attack all over again.”
James Cox, an editor at The Sun, which has its offices near the site of the attack, reported that the several loud bangs that have been heard in the area over the past hour are controlled explosions.
Sadiq Khan, the MUSLIM Mayor of London, has issued a statement, calling the incident a “horrific terrorist attacks,” and warning Londoners that “the situation is still unfolding.”
“I condemn [the attack] in the strongest possible terms.
There is no justification whatsoever for such barbaric acts,” wrote Khan, a Labour politician, elected last year.
Prime Minister Theresa May has released an official statement to the UK media, calling the “terrible incident” a “potential act of terrorism.”