UPDATED: Several people were injured, some seriously, in a knife attack in London and their suspected assailant was killed by police in an incident Friday that Scotland Yard said was a terrorist assault. London police later said that two people were killed, according to the Associated Press.
London Bridge was cordoned off and the area evacuated after the attack, which began “at a premises” about 2 p.m. in the British capital, said Neil Basu, an assistant commissioner at Scotland Yard who oversees counter-terrorism activities. Officers responding to the incident fired at the suspected attacker, who died at the scene. He was wearing a fake suicide vest, Basu said.
Media reports say that bystanders wrestled the assailant to the ground before authorities moved in.
The incident occurred not far from the site of a terrorist attack in June 2017 in which three men drove a vehicle into pedestrians on the bridge, then went on a stabbing rampage in nearby Borough Market, a popular food court that attracts both locals and tourists. Eight people died and nearly 50 were injured. The attackers, who were inspired by Islamic State and wore fake suicide vests, were killed by authorities.
Since then, authorities have thwarted 20 terrorist plots in London, Mayor Sadiq Khan said Friday. “In previous decades, our city has been under attack from terrorists,” he said. “It’s important that we as Londoners stand shoulder to shoulder with one another, to stand resolute in the face of a terrorist or an individual or others who seek to divide us.”
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Earlier this month, the British government downgraded the terror threat facing the country from “severe” to “substantial.” It is the lowest level at which the terror threat has been assessed in five years, but still means that an attack could “occur without further warning.”
Overground trains running into and out of London Bridge were suspended, as was service at London Bridge’s subway station.