Updated: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 – 2:42 PM
Here is the full text of Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement on the attacks in London today:
Updated: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 – 11:45 AM
Events continue to unfold as facts are emerging regarding the London terror attacks on Parliament.
Parliament is currently in lockdown as a precaution, though police believe that there was a lone attacker. The area is cordoned off as police conduct a thorough search to rule out others involvement.
Four people are dead, including a police officer stabbed to death outside Parliament and the attacker. The other two are believed to have died when the attacker drove down the sidewalk on Westminster Bridge on his way to crash into the gate of Parliament.
Reports say he then exited the vehicle, a gray Hyundai 140, and proceeded to attempt to enter the gate, stabbing a police officer to death. He was then shot by police. He was shot by armed police inside the security cordon of the Houses of Parliament.
Injuries received by pedestrians on Westminster bridge were termed “catastrophic” by physicians. At least 20 people were injured, several of them French students, according to French prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve.
Three police officers were also among those injured on the bridge.
Scotland Yard is treating the events “as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise.” Reports say that the UK has been on high alert and that internet traffic shows that there have been stepped-up calls to attack using any weapon available, including cars and knives in England, where it is difficult to obtain firearms.
Armed police are searching the Palace of Westminster. Prime Minister Theresa May was evacuated from the building and taken to Downing Street.
Scotland Yard is asking for anyone with footage of the incident to come forward. On lockdown opposite Parliament is the the London Eye, with some people being held inside. The Thames is currently closed except to emergency vehicles between Vauxhall Bridge and the Embankment. With services diverted to the incident the public is asked not to use the emergency 999 number except in true emergencies.
London ambulance services were called to Westminster Bridge at 2:40 p.m. and the first crew arrived within six minutes.
Posted: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 – 11:35 AM
(AFP) A police officer was among three killed Wednesday in a suspected terrorist attack outside Britain’s parliament by an assailant who was then shot dead by armed police, Britain’s top anti-terror officer said.
Mark Rowley said the two other victims died on Westminster Bridge in London after the attacker mowed down pedestrians in a car, leaving at least 20 people injured in total.
“Sadly I can confirm that now four people have died,” the Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner told reporters outside Scotland Yard police headquarters.
“That includes the police officer who was protecting parliament and one man who we believe to be the attacker, who was shot by a police firearms officer.
“We have declared this as a terrorist incident and the counter-terrorism command are carrying out a full-scale investigation into the attacks.”
He said the assault began when a car was driven over Westminster Bridge next to the Houses of Parliament, hitting and injuring several members of the public, including three police officers returning from a ceremony.
“The car then crashed near to parliament and at least one man, armed with a knife, continued the attack and tried to enter parliament,” Rowley said.
He said the police implemented “well-rehearsed plans… for a marauding terrorist attack” and parliament was put into “lockdown”.
Rowley said a “massive operation” was now under way but refused to go into further details.
“We currently believe there was only one attacker,” he said.
“This was a day we’ve planned for but hoped would never happen. Sadly it is now a reality,” Rowley added.
© Agence France-Presse