LONDON: Seven people died and 48 were injured in the Saturday night terrorist attacks in the center of London, police said. Armed officers shot dead three suspects. The initial figures suggested six people had been killed and 20 injured, but these figures rose through the night — a seventh person died Sunday morning.
The force advised people to avoid the areas “to allow the emergency services to deal with the ongoing incidents.”
The force tweeted a warning telling people in the area to run to safety, hide and then call police if it is safe to do so.
On Sunday morning the London police chief said patrols would be increased, including those by armed officers.
About two hours after the first reports of an incident, television images showed people walking away from the London Bridge area with their hands on their heads. Police tweeted that Londoners should “remain calm but be alert and vigilant.”
Nick Brandon of British Transport Police said the force had received reports of “multiple” casualties in an incident possibly involving a knife and a vehicle. He said he did not know how serious the injuries were.
Multiple witnesses reported a vehicle veering off the road and hitting several pedestrians; others also said they saw a man with a knife.
British website MailOnline quoted witnesses as saying the three attackers shouted "this is for Allah" as they left the van and attacked victims.
An eyewitness at the scene told Arab News that she had seen what looked like a man with his throat cut on London Bridge.
"We saw a man coming off the bridge with blood all over him and it looked like he had his throat slashed," the eyewitness said.
"He was holding his neck. Just been told by the police all the bridges are shut, we can't get back and so are trapped in the cordon. It also smells quite strongly of burning," the eyewitness added, requesting not to be named.
Nick Archer, who was in the London Bridge area, said he came out of a bar and looked to his left and saw a man lying on the ground. He thought the person had been drinking, but then police vans flew by.
Several witnesses said some victims also appeared to have stab wounds.
London’s Metropolitan Police said armed officers were at two scenes — on the bridge and the nearby market, a busy area of restaurants and bars.
Witnesses reported a vehicle hitting pedestrians and seeing injured people on the ground on the bridge. One, Holly Jones, told the BBC a white van veered off the road and struck as many as six people. She said she saw at least four or five people on the ground.
Another witness, Will Heaven, said he saw people who appeared to have been hit, and one being put into an ambulance.
“We saw injured people on the road, injured people on the pavement,” he told Sky News.
Transport for London said busy London Bridge station and two others were closed at the request of police.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said she was “in contact with officials and is being regularly updated.” Downing St. said she would chair a meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency committee on Sunday.
Meanwhile world leaders have responded to Saturday’s attack. The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation condemned the attacks, reinforcing the UAE’s stance against extremism and terrorism.
The ministry said the latest attacks in the heart of London reaffirmed the urgent need for concerted international efforts to combat terrorism, calling for joint cooperation and addressing this serious scourge that threatens the security and stability of countries all over the world.
And in Saudi Arabia an official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the Kingdom's “strong condemnation and denunciation of the attacks.”?
In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the source offered the Kingdom's condolences to the families of the victims and to the UK Government and people, wishing a speedy recovery to the wounded.
The official source reiterated the “Kingdom's solidarity with the United Kingdom against terrorism and extremism which target security and stability around the world without exception.”
The Saudi embassy in the UK warned Saudis in London, especially in the south-east of the British capital, to be cautious and follow up police instructions.
And it advised Saudi nationals to call the embassy in case of an emergency on: +44 (0)20 7917 3000, +44 (0)7947 253753,
+44 (0)7946 779614.
The incident comes less than three months after an attacker ran down people with a vehicle on Westminster Bridge, killing four, then stabbed a policeman to death outside Parliament.
On May 22, a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured dozens at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. After that attack, Britain’s official threat level from terrorism was raised to “critical,” meaning an attack may be imminent. Several days later it was lowered to “severe,” meaning an attack is highly likely.
(With SPA; AP & Reuters)