LONDON ATTACK: SEVEN KILLED IN VAN AND KNIFE INCIDENTS.
The death toll has risen to seven, with 48 others injured, after the London terror attack in which three suspects were shot dead by police.
A white van hit pedestrians on London Bridge at about 22:00 BST on Saturday, then three men got out and stabbed people in nearby Borough Market.
Most political parties have suspended national general election campaigning in light of the attack, but UKIP leader Paul Nuttall said he would carry on because that was “precisely what extremists would want us to do”.
The prime minister has chaired a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee and is expected to make a statement shortly.
Borough Market is an area known for its bars and restaurants which were busy on a warm summer evening.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick praised the “extraordinary bravery” of her officers, on and off duty, who risked their lives by rushing to confront the attackers.
The three suspects were shot dead within eight minutes of the first 999 call being received.
It is the third terror attack in the UK in three months following the car and knife attack in Westminster in March, which left five people dead, and the Manchester bombing less than two weeks ago, in which 22 people were killed.
Commissioner Dick said she understood there could be a certain amount of “fear” among Londoners, but added: “The last thing we need is people over-reacting or taking out their frustrations on people in other communities or in their own communities.”
Among the main developments:
- More than 80 medics were sent to the scene. The injured, some of them in critical condition, are being treated in five London hospitals
- The Met Police has set up a casualty bureau on 0800 096 1233 and 020 7158 0197 for people concerned about friends or relatives
- Two Australian citizens “have been directly impacted,” says the country’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
- Four French citizens have been injured, one seriously, according to foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian
Eyewitnesses to the attack described seeing a white van travelling at high speed along London Bridge before crashing close to the Barrowboy and Banker pub.
BBC reporter Holly Jones, who was on the bridge at the time of the attack, said the van was “probably travelling at about 50 miles an hour”.
“He swerved right round me and then hit about five or six people. He hit about two people in front of me and then three behind,” she said.
Three men then got out and began attacking people in the nearby market – one witness, Gerard, told the BBC they were shouting “This is for Allah”.
Another, Eric, told the BBC the men “ran towards the people that they nearly ran over”
“I thought, ‘Oh maybe they’re worried about them and trying to comfort them…
“[Then] they literally just started kicking them, punching them, they took out knives… it was a rampage really.”
Steven Gibbs, who was drinking in St Christopher’s Inn, just metres from the scene, told the BBC: “A black cab drove past and the driver shouted, ‘Terrorist attack, run!’
“I stood up to take a look and then all of a sudden there were gunshots. Lots of people were screaming.”
Steven was taken into the basement of the bar before the police came in and told everyone inside to run.
“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” he said.
No-one has been able to clean up the empty pint glasses on the tables outside Belushi’s bar on Borough High Street – a stark reminder of what happened in London Bridge last night.
It’s 8am and dozens of police cars and cordons remain in the area, blocking anyone from walking up to Borough Market, where the tragedy unfolded.
Dozens of people wait by the police cut-off areas in a confused state trying to work out how to get home or to work.
But no-one is prepared to give up.
There is a determined resilience in the air with nurses and railway workers walking miles out of their way to try to get to their jobs.
Security officer Mohammed Osman, who works on Borough High Street, had to wait for an hour before he was allowed through to his place of work.
He said: “I’m not feeling worried. I’m strong enough. These enemies are trying to divide us but we have to be together.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the capital remained the “safest global city” and would not be cowed by terrorism.
Neil Coyle, the Labour candidate for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, praised the “amazing” response of Londoners.
“The cabbies who offered free rides, the hotels offering accommodation and people just offering a spare room, a sofa for the evening or somewhere just to charge a mobile phone, to make sure that those directly affected could keep in touch with their families and loved ones.”
The police are asking anyone with photographs or videos of the incident to upload them here.
The area around the attack scene remains cordoned off on Sunday morning, with London Bridge and neighbouring Southwark Bridge both closed.
Many other roads, including Borough High Street and Lower Thames Street, are also closed, and trains are not stopping at London Bridge rail station or Tube station.
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