Police shoot man after reports of stabbing near London Bridge
Several civilians were stabbed by the suspect in an incident that sent hundreds of people running for their lives
By Erin Roman, Kitty Donaldson and Greg Ritchie
LONDON — Armed police shot a man after a possible terrorist attack sent hundreds of people running for their lives in the heart of London.
Several civilians were believed to have been injured in a stabbing just before 2 p.m. in the London Bridge area on the edge of the capital’s financial center, police said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson broke away from the general election campaign to rush back to his Downing Street offices where he will be briefed on the events.
The streets around London Bridge were locked down and armed police cleared restaurants and shops in the area. Officers are treating the incident as terror-related “as a precaution,” although the circumstances are still unclear, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
The U.K. is set to hold a general election on Dec. 12 and the last election campaign in 2017 was interrupted by attacks, including one that killed eight people in the same area of London.
During the incident on Friday, armed officers burst into restaurants in the Borough Market area at London Bridge and urged diners to leave as fast as possible. They shouted “Out, out, out,” to people at the Black and Blue bar. Diners walked away with their hands on their heads. Nearby, police shouted to pedestrians to “run.”
The Metropolitan Police said they’d been called to a stabbing and had detained a man at a premises near the bridge. Officers closed off the bridge and evacuated passers-by from the surrounding area.
“We believe a number of people have been injured,” according to a statement posted on the Met’s Twitter feed. Sky reported five casualties in the incident, citing police sources.
On the north bank of the River Thames, police officers shouted to pedestrians to move back from the bridge 100 meters, and then urged them to take shelter in any nearby building, shouting: “Move inside for your own safety.”
The same area of London was the scene of a terrorist attack just a few days before the general election in June 2017 in which eight people were killed and 48 injured. Three Islamist terrorists drove a van at pedestrians on the bridge before arming themselves with knives and running into Borough Market, where they stabbed people in restaurants and pubs. Armed police responded and killed the attackers.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was being kept updated on the incident, in a post on the Twitter feed of his office.
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