Several people were stabbed on the London Bridge on Friday afternoon in a terror incident and the suspected attacker was shot dead by the police on the spot, media reports said.
The area around the iconic bridge, where shops were closed down and an "enormous" police cordon was placed after the incident occurred, was still in lockdown and people have been advised to avoid the area as police hunted around the scene for any more threats though clarifying that a "vest" on the suspect was a "hoax device", the BBC reported.
Today the street of London have witnessed some incredible bravery these members of the public bravely pinned down the suspected terrorist armed with a knife while armed officers approached the scene. #LondonShooting #LondonBridge pic.twitter.com/CT7jSmeCGY— Police Hour (@PoliceHour) November 29, 2019
Addressing the press in the evening, Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations, Neil Basu, said that approximately at 2 p.m., "police were called to a stabbing at a premises near the London Bridge" and emergency services including officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police reached the spot.
Met Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu confirms that the alleged attacker who was shot by police on London Bridge has died and that it was a terrorist incident.— Sky News (@SkyNews) November 29, 2019
Get live updates here: https://t.co/3sizkwZd5X pic.twitter.com/mZfdp5EiFw
"A male suspect was shot by specialist armed officers from the City of London Police and I can confirm that this suspect died at the scene.
"A number of other people received injuries during the incident and as soon as we can provide further updates on their condition, we will. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to those anxiously awaiting news from their loved ones," he said.
The face of a hero who bravely disarmed a terrorist suspect... We thank you for your bravery along with the other members of public who helped you. #LondonBridge #LondonShooting pic.twitter.com/Josw7PVxvU— Police Hour (@PoliceHour) November 29, 2019
"As you would expect, due to the nature of the incident, we responded as though it was terrorist-related. I am now in a position to confirm that it has been declared a terrorist incident. We are working jointly with the City of London Police as we continue to respond," Basu said.
"Officers from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command are now leading this investigation. I must stress, however, that we retain an open mind as to any motive. It would not be appropriate to speculate further at this time," he said.
This is the moment members of the elite Police Territorial Support Group responded to the London Bridge attack.@skymarkwhite was filming with them when they got the call about the attack.— Sky News (@SkyNews) November 29, 2019
Read the latest on the incident here: https://t.co/b0EsILlDU9 pic.twitter.com/wjvPvOea9v
The Assistant Commissioner said that due to reports that the suspect may have had an explosive device, specialist officers reached the scene "and wide cordons are in place to ensure there remains no further danger to the public".
"However, I can confirm that at this time, we believe a device that was strapped to the body of the suspect is a hoax explosive device. Officers continue to carry out meticulous searches in the area to ensure there is no outstanding threat to the public," he said.
"This afternoon is a reminder why we are the greatest city in the world"— Sky News (@SkyNews) November 29, 2019
Sadiq Khan says he is in awe of the members of the public who confronted the alleged London Bridge attacker.
Read about the moment civilians confronted the alleged attacker https://t.co/dIOWLtNd9O pic.twitter.com/E7XtMMC4Ou
He said the "extensive cordons will remain in place for a considerable time" and public was requested to continue avoiding the area, while anyone with information, image or footage of the incident should share them with their investigation teams.
The incident evoked memories of the 2017 terror attack on London Bridge when a van was deliberately driven into pedestrians before its three occupants ran to the nearby Borough Market area and began stabbing people in and around restaurants and pubs, leaving eight people dead and 48 injured. The attackers, who claimed allegiance to the Islamic State, were shot dead by the police.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on this afternoon’s incident at London Bridge. pic.twitter.com/PGVtmcFh42— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) November 29, 2019
A BBC reporter on the spot said that he had seen a group of men involved in a fight on the bridge, before the police reached the spot and shots were fired.
"There appeared to be a fight going on on the other side of the bridge, with several men attacking one man.
"Police then quickly arrived, including armed police, and then a number of shots were fired at this man," he reported.
According to the BBC, a video filmed from a nearby bus showed the apparent suspect appearing to be shot as he lay on the ground, while another man in a suit and jacket could be seen running away from him, having apparently retrieved a large knife.
The BBC also quoted a woman passenger on a bus crossing the bridge that she had seen police grappling with a "tall bearded man", and wrestling him to the ground, before he pulled back his coat to show that he was wearing "some kind of vest", which made police retreat from him.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in a tweet, said that he was being updated on the incident and wanted to thank the police and all emergency services for their response.
Home Secretary Priti Patel also tweeted that she was "very concerned" about the incident.
Very concerned by ongoing incident at London Bridge. My thoughts are with all affected. I am grateful for the rapid response of our police and I urge everyone to follow their advice.— Priti Patel (@patel4witham) November 29, 2019
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: "Shocking reports from London Bridge. My thoughts are with those caught up in the incident. Thank you to the police and emergency services who are responding."
My heart goes out to the victims of this appalling attack.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) November 29, 2019
We owe a deep debt of gratitude to our police and emergency services, and the brave members of the public who put themselves in harm’s way to protect others.
We must remain united across all our communities.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who said that he was "in close contact with the Met Commissioner" over the incident, said in a statement that his "heart goes out" to those injured in "today's horrific attack".
"We must -- and we will -- stay resolute in our determination to stand strong and united in the face of terror. Those who seek to attack us and divide us will never succeed," he asserted.
LBC reporter Rachael Venables: "A sign of how anxious and hectic everything is at London Bridge. Police just chased down a man and pinned him to the floor outside Cannon St station. It doesn’t look like it's anything to do with the attack, but a scary moment." pic.twitter.com/bnML879sKb— LBC (@LBC) November 29, 2019