Five people were killed in London this Wednesday, following a terrorist attack that took place in Westminster at the Houses Of Parliament. At 2:40 p.m. the attacker driving a gray Hyundai ran over forty people on the Westminster Bridge, including three police officers who were on their way back from a commendation ceremony, according to BBC.
After the car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament, the attacker left the vehicle to enter the Palace of Westminster and stabbed and killed an officer named Keith Palmer, before being shot down by other officers in the premises. The event is considered as a terrorist act, and it seems to fit into the threats that jihadists want to carry out in Europe: attacking people with a vehicle and taking on the security officers with knives.
Identity of Westminster attacker has not been released yet
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May spoke about the attack after a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergencies committee.
“We will all move forward together, never giving in to terror and never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart,” said May at a conference. “The location of this attack was no accident. The terrorist chose to strike at the heart of our capital city where people of all nationalities, religions, and cultures come together to celebrate the values of liberty, democracy, and freedom of speech,” added the Prime Minister, according to BBC.
The identity of the terrorist hasn’t been released yet, although police officials say they are familiarized to the man’s identity. The attack left several injured, including three French schoolchildren who were on the bridge and four students from Edge Hill University in Lancashire.
A woman was pushed out from the bridge and fell into the Thames River, and she’s been treated for serious injuries. In King College Hospital eight patients are being treated –six men and two women- and the hospital says that two are in critical condition and two are stable. St Thoma’s Hospital had two people admitted, and both are stable.
— Barry Sheerman (@BarrySheerman) March 22, 2017
UK’s terror threat level is at its second-highest
Mark Rowley, Acting Deputy Commissioner and counter-terrorism head at the Metropolitan Police, confirmed that they believe international terrorism inspired the attack. He paid tribute to the MP police officer who was killed, Keith Palmer.
“He was someone who left for work today expecting to return home at the end of his shift – and he had every right to expect that would happen,” said Rowley.
He also said that family liaison officers were providing support at the moment for the families of the three other people killed in the attack.
Police officials and government representatives are urging people to remain calm and to report any suspicious activity to the police, as UK’s terror threat level is at its second highest, meaning that an attack is likely to happen again.
Scotland Yard detectives are now working to determine whether the attacker acted on its own to ensure London’s safety as much as they can.