LONDON – Seven people died while 48 others were were injured when a van plowed through a crowd on London Bridge and several men stabbed passerby on Sunday night in what police described were “terroristic acts”.
The first incident involved a white transit-style van that hit and ran over people on London Bridge then the vehicle drove to nearby Borough Market. Three men alighted from the van then started stabbing people.
The three suspects were shot dead by responding policemen.
Police said armed officers fired an unprecedented number of rounds at the three attackers because they appeared to be wearing suicide belts but the belts turned out to be fake.
Mark Rowley, assistant commissioner for specialist operations in the Metropolitan Police Service and most senior counterterrorism officer, said eight armed policemen fired 50 shots at the three attackers to make sure they were neutralized.
The Times reported that one of the three men had previously attempted to persuade youngsters to join the Islamic State and had been reported to British police twice in the past over concerns about his “extremist views.”
The Islamic State said through its Amaq news agency that a “detachment” of its fighters carried out the attack. There was no proof presented by the terror group to back up its claim.
British Prime Minister Theresa May lamented that there was “too much tolerance” of Islamic extremism in the UK as she vowed a crackdown in the wake of the third terror attack in Britain.
“We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are. Enough is enough,” May said outside Downing Street.
Last March, a man drove his vehicle through a crowd on Westminster Bridge, killing and injuring pedestrians there and attempted to enter the Parliament building but was stopped by a policeman who the attacker stabbed dead.
In Manchester last month, a suicide bomber detonated himself outside the city’s arena just after a concert by pop star Ariana Grande, killing 22 concertgoers and wounding more than 100 others.
Meanwhile, a large portion south of London Bridge has been cordoned off as police investigation continues.
Thirty-six victims were being treated in London hospitals yesterday with 21 of them in serious condition.
Among the fatalities was a Canadian national identified as Christine Archibald.
British police have so far arrested 12 people in connection with the London Bridge and Borough Market attacks. GAC/Expat Media
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