Thursday July 25, 2024
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At least four people, including a suspected attacker and a police officer, have been confirmed dead in an attack near the British parliament that authorities are treating as a terrorist incident.

“Although we remain open minded to the motive, a full counterterrorism investigation is already underway,” Commander BJ Harrington told a news conference Wednesday in London.

A search is underway to confirm there are no additional attackers, though police officials have indicated the attack was carried out by a lone assailant.

Parliament was placed on lockdown after an attacker stabbed a police officer before being shot by other officers on the parliament grounds. The injured officer later died of his injuries. At least two people were killed and eight others injured when a vehicle struck several people on the nearby Westminster bridge.

A senior police officer told VOA that they believe only one assailant was involved in what appears to have been “a three-staged attack.”

It began with an SUV being driven over Westminster Bridge right by the House of Commons. The SUV mounted the sidewalk and struck several pedestrians.

Attacker rammed pedestrians

According to police sources, the vehicle struck some other pedestrians at the perimeter fence near the gates at Old Palace Yard.

“The attacker then rushed the gates and struggled with a police guard who tried to stop him. The assailant stabbed him several times,” the senior police officer said. “Other officers shot the attacker.”

Eyewitness accounts

The gunfire was heard at 2:38 p.m. London time inside the House of Commons as lawmakers were debating legislation on pension reform. Eyewitnesses say about half-a-dozen shots were fired.

“It all happened within a minute,” witness Tawhid Tanim told VOA. “I came out of where I work and saw a car had pulled up and I heard I just heard bang bang bang and people running everywhere.”   Continue reading