Four people died and at least 20 others were injured in a terrorist attack on Wednesday afternoon on the Westminster Bridge and in front of the British Parliament in London. Among the killed were the assailant, who would probably have acted alone, as well as a policeman who guarded the parliament.
ccording to Mark Rowley, head of counter-terrorism operations in the UK, the assailant used a sport utility vehicle to mow several pedestrians, including three policemen, on the Westminster Bridge. Two people lost their lives.
The vehicle finished its race in the grid that protects the parliament, located at the end of the bridge. The perpetrator then stabbed a policeman who protected the parliament before being killed.
“We think for the time being that there was only one assailant,” Rowley said. However, the area continues to be searched as a precautionary measure.
The investigation will be conducted by the London Police Anti-Terror Unit.
Commandant BJ Harrington of the London Police Department had previously stated that the head of the service, Craig Mackey, was present when the attack occurred. He could therefore give precious testimony.
The parliament was placed in confinement in the wake of the events, before being evacuated two hours later, and the work of the House of Commons was suspended.
Prime Minister Theresa May, who was evacuated in the aftermath of the attack, will chair a Wednesday meeting of the Emergency and Security Committee (COBR).
A large security perimeter was set up at the scene to preserve the crime scene.
Mr. Rowley also indicated that more armed police will be deployed in the streets of the capital and that it is also possible that the authorities deploy reinforcements.
man armed with a knife at the entrance of parliament
Journalist Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail said he saw a man in black dress attacking a policeman outside Parliament before being hit with two or three bullets as he attempted to enter the building.
He had something in his hand, it looked like a stick, and he was intercepted by two policemen with yellow jackets. And one of the yellow policemen fell to the ground and one could see the man in black moving his arm as if he stabbed or beat the policeman in yellow.
Mr. Letts said that the other policeman then went to seek help, and that the black man ran to the entrance. “And as this guy was running towards the entrance, two guys dressed in civilian clothes shouted something that looked like a warning, he ignored it, and they fired two or three times, and he Has fallen, “he said.
“We were taking pictures of Big Ben when everyone started running and saw a man in his 40s wearing a knife about twenty centimeters,” said Jayne Wilkinson To the British Press Association. “Then we heard three shots. We crossed the street and saw the man in blood on the floor. ”
Speaking to the press earlier, a doctor at London’s St. Thomas Hospital, Colleen Anderson, confirmed that a woman had died “under the wheel of a bus” and that several wounded had suffered “Catastrophic” injuries.
Some people have suffered minor injuries, but other injuries are catastrophic. Some of the wounded will be able to escape; Others have wounds that will change their lives. There may be a dozen [wounded].
“Three students from the Saint-Joseph school in Concarneau who were on a school trip were among the injured,” the spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Port of London also reported that a seriously wounded woman was recovered from the Thames. “We assume that she fell or jumped from the bridge,” a spokesman said.
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In early March, Scotland Yard announced that the British security services had “foiled 13 attempts at terrorist attacks since June 2013” in the United Kingdom. The level of terrorist alert remains fixed at “severe”, the fourth of five levels of the alert level scale, since August 2014.
The London police had announced the deployment of 600 more armed policemen in the city, bringing their number to 2,800, following the November 2015 attacks in France.