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Five Killed, 40 Injured in London Attack
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Summary: In London, an unnamed assailant drove into crowds of people before emerging from his car, where he attacked passerby and police with a knife. 

On the one-year anniversary of the Isis bombing attacks in Brussels, Germany, an attacker rammed a car into crowds of people on Westminster Bridge in London before stabbing a police officer in front of the UK Parliament grounds.

  
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BBC reports that as of now five people have died and 40 are injured. The assailant and the police officer are amongst the dead counted.

Reports state that the assailant’s car crashed into railings outside of Parliament, and then he hurried out of his vehicle, wielding a knife. Unarmed police immediately confronted him and he stabbed and killed one of them before armed officers arrived and shot the attacker dead.

The attack caused panic amongst those in Parliament and the British government was placed on lockdown. Lawmakers were forced to stay in the House of Commons’ main debating chamber as armed police officers rushed outside.

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Britain’s most senior counter-terrorist officer Mark Rowley told CNN that the country had anticipated an attack.

“This is a day that we had planned for — that we all hoped would never happen — but sadly it is now a reality,” said Rowley.



With the exception of the police officer, details about the victims have not yet been released. However, it is reported that some of the victims are students and that they are of different nationalities, as the location is a popular spot for tourists.

The police officer who was slain was identified as PC Keith Palmer, 48. He had served for the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command for fifteen years and left a wife and children. BBC reports that three other unidentified police officers were injured in the attack.

As of now, the prime minister, Theresa May, said that the British government believes that the attack was enacted by one person, who has not been named. Police said that they think they know who he is and are looking to see if he had been working with anyone else. Mark Rowley, acting deputy commissioner, urged media and the public to not try to identify the killer themselves but allow the police to handle the matter for public safety.

Additionally, Rowley said that he thinks that the attacker was inspired by “international terrorism,” but he would not provide details on the assailant’s particular motivations or his country of origin.

Because of the attacks, the prime minister said that the country was now on high alert and that there would be an increase of armed police officers on the streets. This is extraordinary considering that the country is famous for its law enforcement that does not usually carry guns.

Prime Minister May said that the attack, however, would not alter British values and that Parliament would meet as scheduled on Thursday.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan also issued a statement to his city’s residents, thanking the police and other responders for their bravery and vowing to not let terrorists win.

“London is the greatest city in the world and we stand together in the face of those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life. Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism,” Khan said.

Photo courtesy of Time



 

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