At least seven people were killed and three suspects were shot dead in two terrorist attacks at London Bridge and Borough Market late on Saturday. The suspects, who were wearing fake suicide vests, were shot dead by the police within eight minutes of the first attack.
In one of the incidents, a van speeding across the London Bridge suddenly veered off the road and hit several pedestrians on the pavement. In another incident, stabbings were reported at a restaurant in Borough Market, located not too far from London Bridge.
Police declared both the attacks as "terrorist incidents" and believe that all of those directly responsible for the attack have been killed. A third incident was also reported at the Vauxhall area just before 1 am on Sunday. However, the Metropolitan Police Service in London said that the incident in the residential area was a "stabbing" incident and was not connected to the attacks at London Bridge and Borough Market.
"A white van driver came speeding - probably about 50mph - veered off the road into the crowds of people who were walking along the pavement. He swerved right round me and then hit about five or six people," a BBC reporter, who was on the bridge at the time of the attack, said.
Eyewitnesses told the news channel that they saw two to four people getting out of a van and running towards Borough Market after the attack on London Bridge. Elsbeth Smedley, an eyewitness, told CNN that a man ran into Elliot restaurant in Borough Market, stabbed two people and then ran out.
"They kept coming to try to stab me. They were stabbing everyone. Evil, evil people," Gerard Vowls told the Guardian adding that he saw three men stabbing a woman at the south end of London Bridge. Vowls further added that the thre chairs, glasses and bottles to try and stop the attackers.
"I want to know if this girl is still alive. I've been walking around for an hour and a half crying my eyes out. I don't know what to do," the eyewitness said.
At least 48 injured
The London Ambulance Service has confirmed that they sent 48 injured patients to five hospitals in London — St Mary's hospital, St Thomas' hospital, University College hospital, King's College hospital and the Royal London hospital. Police boats are also searching River Thames just in case anyone may have fallen from the bridge.
"We took 48 patients to five hospitals across London and treated a number of others at the scene for minor injuries... We sent over 80 of our medics to the scene including ambulance crews, advanced paramedics, specialist response teams and an advanced trauma team from London's Air Ambulance," Peter Rhodes, assistant director of operations of the London Ambulance Service, said in a statement.
Two French citizens have also been injured in the attack, the French president's office said on Sunday.
"The attack which struck London, days after that which took place in Manchester, is a new abominable and cowardly attack against our free society. Fellow French citizens are among the injured. France is putting everything in place to assist them," the statement from the president's office read.
The British Transport Police confirmed that there were "a number" of casualties and that there was an "incident that possibly involved a van and a knife."
Citizens have been advised to avoid the London Bridge and the Borough Market areas. Several stations — London Bridge, Borough, Waterloo East, Charing Cross and Cannon Street — have been closed down. The police has cordoned off the area.
The police have also cordoned off the Borough Market and have cleared all bars and restaurants close to the area. Borough Market is one of the busiest areas in London, especially on Saturday nights.
The police have asked the people, who were present at the London Bridge and the Borough Market at the time of the attack, to upload any photos or videos that they might have taken on the website of the National Police Chiefs' Council.
The Metropolitan Police Service has opened a casualty bureau for those who wish to inquire about their friends and family who may have been at the London Bridge or the Borough Market at the time of the attack. Citizens can call on the numbers given below:
- 0800 096 1233
- 020 7158 0197
Theresa May, Sadiq Khan condemn attack
British Prime Minister Theresa May and London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the attacks with May describing it a "dreadful events" and Khan calling it a "horrific terrorist attack."
"My thoughts are with everyone affected, and I'd like to thank the brave men and women of our emergency services who were first on the scene and will be working throughout the night... This was a deliberate and cowardly attack on innocent Londoners and visitors to our city enjoying their Saturday night. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. There is no justification whatsoever for such barbaric acts.," Khan wrote on Facebook.
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) June 4, 2017
The Prime Minister also chaired a government's emergency Cobra meeting on Sunday and will issue a statement in Downing Street soon. Khan will also attend the meeting. Both the PM and the Mayor are being kept "regularly updated" on further developments.
Election campaign suspended
The national campaigning for the general election on June 8 has been suspended in the wake of the attacks, the Guardian reported. Local campaigning, however, will continue.
Door knocking and leaflet dropping will continue. All major parties have, however, suspended the national campaign for three days.
"The Conservative party will not be campaigning nationally today. We will review as the day goes on and as more details of the attack emerge," a statement issued by the Conservative Party read. The Scottish National party has also said that it will not campaign for the general election in wake of the terror attacks in London.
This is the second terrorist attack in London in 15 days. Two weeks ago, a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester had claimed the lives of 23 people.