Thursday, 23 March 2017

Four die as suspected terrorist strike near UK Parliament

Four people, including an armed police officer and a man believed to be the attacker, died yesterday in a terrorist incident near the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) Houses of Parliament, Scotland Yard confirmed last night. One of the victims was among several pedestrians hit by a car on Westminster Bridge, before it crashed. An officer protecting the Parliament was stabbed by an attacker, who was shot by the police. At least 20 people were injured, including three other officers. Acting Deputy Commissioner and head of counter terrorism at the Metropolitan Police, Mark Rowley, said a major terrorist investigation was under way. He said the attack started shortly before 15:00 GMT when the four-wheel vehicle was driven over Westminster Bridge, hitting and injuring a number of members of the public and the three police officers, who were on their way back from a commendation ceremony. Mr. Rowley said after the car crashed an ‘Asian’ knifeman “continued the attack and tried to enter Parliament”. Witnesses say there was what appeared to be a warning shout and then the crack of three or four shots before the attacker fell to the floor. Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood – a former Army officer, whose brother died in the Bali terrorist bombing in 2002 – attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation of an injured police officer. Prime Minister Theresa May was scheduled to chair a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee later. Speaking ahead of the meeting, a Downing Street spokesman said: “The thoughts of the PM and the government are with those killed and injured in this appalling incident, and with their families.” Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh said: “We offer our deepest sympathy to the family of the officer who has died. This incident shows the dangers our colleagues face on a daily basis.” French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said three French school pupils were among the injured and offered “solidarity with our British friends, and full support” for the wounded students and their families. The Port of London Authority said a woman was pulled alive from the River Thames, near the bridge and was being treated for serious injuries. Emergency services treated at least 20 injured people on the bridge, with one woman dead under a bus. The ‘middle-aged’ attacker, suspected to be an Asian, was then shot by armed officers. He died while being rushed to the hospital. An intruder, described by witnesses as ‘middle-aged and Asian’, managed to break into the grounds of the Parliament where he fatally stabbed a police officer with two knives. The policeman died on the spot. Another witness Jayne Wilkinson said: “We were taking photos of Big Ben and we saw all the people running towards us, and then there was an Asian guy in about his 40s carrying a knife about seven or eight inches long. ‘And then there were three shots fired, and then we crossed the road and looked over. The man was on the floor with blood. ‘He had a lightweight jacket on, dark trousers and a shirt. He was running through those gates, towards Parliament, and the police were chasing him.” Her partner David Turner added: “There was a stampede of people running out. You saw the people and you thought ‘what the hell is going on’.” Frazer Clarke, 25, from Burton-on-Trent, said: “We heard a loud bang and screaming and then I noticed some smoke. I thought it was a car crash. “I looked towards the front gate and people were running, a police officer and a fellow coming to the gate with two knives. “He was stabbing the police officer with the knives. He was wearing black tracksuit bottoms, a black of grey top and what looked like work boots. The police officer was stumbling and fell on the floor’ Pat McCormack, 21, from Washington in Tyne-on-Wear said: “I saw him stabbing the officer in the back of the head and the back of the neck. “He was running away but then he collapsed.” Steve Voake, 55, was walking across the Westminster Bridge and saw at least two bodies lying on the road and one in the water. “I saw a trainer lying in the road and when I looked more closely I saw that there were a couple of bodies the other side of the road”, he told the Press Association, adding: “And when I looked over the side there was another body lying in the water with blood all around it.” Passer’s-by action sparks fury AN attempt by a passer-by to take a ‘Selfie’in front of victims of the Westminster terror attack sparked fury yesterday His actions caused revulsion with people saying they were ‘disgusted’ The passer-by who appeared to take photographs with a ‘selfie stick’ in front of victims of the Westminster terror attack has sparked fury. At least four people have died when a terrorist brought carnage to central London, mowing down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and attacking police with knives in the grounds of the Houses of Parliament. Witnesses said the aftermath was like a scene from a ‘Hollywood disaster movie’. But photographs of casualties lying on the ground – before they got help – and people taking selfies at the scene have caused revulsion. Referring to the man posing for a selfie, one said: “Sir, you’re with the selfie stick, you need that shoving up your a***.” One person said: “Unbelievable, how could someone think that it’s acceptable to do that.” Parveen Agnihotri commented: “Shame on the people taking selfies rather than helping the injured. Seems like we’ve become a nation of uncaring self promotion.” Kavita Cooper said: “Touched by the bravery of those that ran towards victims to offer help and support. Disgusted by those taking selfies.” Another added: “Unbelievable! Some people disgusting! Please track this sick individual down & shame him publicly at the very least!” One said: “What is wrong with some people man. No brains at all. Muppet.” It followed similar outrage caused by people posing for selfies following terror attacks elsewhere. Scotland Yard said the attack, which comes a year to the day after the terrorist atrocities in Brussels, is being treated “as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise.”

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