Three assailants stabbed passers-by at random after smashing into pedestrians in a van, killing seven people in a terror attack in a popular nightlife hub in London before being shot dead by armed police.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative party suspended campaigning for this week’s general election following Saturday night’s attack, which came less than a fortnight after 22 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a concert in Manchester.
As they rampaged through the bars around London Bridge, the attackers wore what looked like suicide vests which turned out to be “hoaxes”, said Mark Rowley, head of counter-terrorism policing.
“We believe that seven people have died in addition to the three attackers shot dead by police” in what is being treated as a “terrorist incident”, Rowley said.
Forty-eight people were rushed to hospitals in the area, according to the London Ambulance Service.
“They were stabbing everyone.” a man called Gerard told the BBC, adding that he had seen the assailants stabbing a girl and had tried to confront them.
Another witness called Eric told the BBC he had seen three men come out of a white van after hitting pedestrians and thought they were going to help.
But instead they “started kicking them, punching them and took out knives. It was a rampage really,” he said.
France said two of its citizens were injured in the attack, one seriously, and President Emmanuel Macron, said his nation — which has suffered its own wave of terror attacks — was “more than ever at Britain’s side.”
The injured also included a police officer who was one of the first responders on the scene and was stabbed in the face and leg.
Police said the three men were shot by a police armed response team within eight minutes of receiving the first call at 10:08 pm (2108 GMT).