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Old 03-22-2017   #1 (permalink)

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Default 4 Dead, 20 Injured In Terrorist Attack Near UK Parliament


Four people were killed and at least 20 injured in London on Wednesday after a car ploughed into pedestrians and an attacker stabbed a policeman close to the British parliament in what police called a "marauding terrorist attack". The dead included the assailant and the policeman he stabbed, while the other two victims were among those hit by the car as it tore along Westminster Bridge before crashing into railings just outside parliament. "We've declared this as a terrorist incident and the counter-terrorism command are carrying out a full-scale investigation into the events today," Mark Rowley, Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer, told reporters.

"The attack started when a car was driven over Westminster Bridge, hitting and injuring a number of members of the public, also including three police officers.

"A car then crashed near to parliament and at least one man, armed with a knife, continued the attack and tried to enter parliament," Rowley said.

It was the deadliest attack in London since four British Islamists killed 52 commuters and themselves in suicide bombings on the city's transport system in July 2005, London's worst peacetime attack.

Reuters reporters inside parliament during Wednesday's attack heard loud bangs and shortly afterwards saw the knifeman and the stabbed policeman lying on the ground in a courtyard within the gates of parliament.

A Reuters photographer saw at least a dozen people injured on the bridge. His photographs showed people lying on the ground, some of them bleeding heavily and one under a bus.

A woman was pulled alive, but with serious injuries, from the Thames, the Port of London Authority said. The circumstances of her fall into the river were unknown.

Three French schoolchildren aged 15 or 16 were among those injured in the attack, French officials said.

Several members of parliament (MPs) and senior officials were caught up in the chaos. Tobias Ellwood, a junior Foreign Office minister, was pictured attempting to resuscitate a man lying unconscious, reported to be the stabbed policeman.

"Horrific Acts"

The attack took place on the first anniversary of attacks by terrrorists that killed 32 people in Brussels.

Prime Minister Theresa May chaired a meeting of the government's crisis response committee.

"The thoughts of the PM and the government are with those killed and injured in this appalling incident, and with their families," her office said in a statement.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said there would be additional police officers on the city streets to keep Londoners and visitors safe.

"We stand together in the face of those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life. We always have, and we always will. Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism," he said.

Parliament's lower House of Commons, which was in session at the time, was suspended and lawmakers were asked to stay inside.

In a telephone call with May, President Donald Trump offered Britain the full cooperation and support of the United States, the White House said. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson condemned the attack as "horrific acts of violence".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg were among foreign leaders who expressed shock and solidarity.


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Old 03-23-2017   #2 (permalink)
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