LONDON (Reuters) - Police shot dead a man on London Bridge on Friday in what they said was a terrorism incident. Here is a summary of what we know and do not know about it.
- Death toll: Police said officers shot dead the suspect in the incident and a number of other people had been stabbed. Sky News reported that another person had been killed.
- Britain’s counter-terrorism chief Neil Basu said the attack had been declared a terrorism incident.
“Officers from the Met’s counter-terrorism command are now leading this investigation, but I must stress we retain an open mind as to a motive,” he told reporters.
- Basu said the suspect was carrying a hoax bomb device and that officers had set up a cordon that would remain in place while they made sure there was no other threat to public safety.
Bomb specialists also attended the scene.
“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,” Basu said.
- Police said they were called at 1:58 p.m. to a stabbing on a premises near London Bridge.
- A video posted on Twitter shows about half a dozen men wrestling with someone on the ground on the bridge’s pavement.
One of them backs away from the scene carrying a knife.
As he looks back towards the melee, an armed police officer drags another person away from the man on the floor. Soon after, what sounds like two gunshots ring out, and the man on the ground stops moving. Reuters could not immediately verify the footage.
It is so far unclear who was shot.
- London’s ambulance service declared a “major incident” in the area and London Bridge station was closed.
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was returning to his office and being kept informed of developments.
“I’m being kept updated on the incident at London Bridge and want to thank the police and all emergency services for their immediate response,” Johnson said.
- In June 2017, three attackers rammed a van into pedestrians at London Bridge, stabbing people in nearby bars. Eight people were killed and at least 48 injured. Islamic State said its militants were responsible.
Reporting by Andrew MacAskill and Alistair Smout; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Angus MacSwan