UK: Six killed, 48 injured in terror attacks on London Bridge, Borough Market

4th Jun 2017
UK: Six killed, 48 injured in terror attacks on London Bridge, Borough Market

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

 

LONDON (AA, & The Muslim News): At least six people were killed in in attacks late Saturday as a van mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge before attackers then stabbed victims at nearby Borough Market. According to the police, the terrorists word fake suicide vests.

Health officials said at least 48 victims were taken to five hospitals for treatment.

Three male suspects were killed by police within eight minutes after the first report of the attacks, according to Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Rowley, who said authorities are treating it as a “terror incident” as they proceed with a massive operation in central London. One officer sustained serious non-life-threatening injuries when he responded to the attack, Rowley said.

Prime Minister Theresa May suspended her election campaign and returned to the U.K. capital and will chair a high-level security meeting, COBRA, Sunday.

“The terrible incident in London is being treated as a potential act of terrorism,” she said in a statement.

“This is a fast moving investigation. I want to express my huge gratitude to the police and emergency services who are on the scene. Our thoughts are with those who are caught up in these dreadful events,” she added.

Editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed J Versi, condemning the terrorist attacks, said: “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families at this extremely difficult time. I was shocked to hear of the terrorist attacks on London Bridge and nearby Borough Market. I condemn the attacks which has once again targeted innocent people.”

Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the “barbaric acts” he described as a “deliberate and cowardly attack on innocent Londoners and visitors to our city enjoying their Saturday night”.

Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “I am appalled and angered by the terrorist attacks at London Bridge and Borough Market, in my home city. These acts of violence were truly shocking and I condemn them in the strongest terms.

“Muslims everywhere are outraged and disgusted at these cowards who once again have destroyed the lives of our fellow Britons. That this should happen in this month of Ramadan, when many Muslims were praying and fasting only goes to show that these people respect neither life nor faith.

“My prayers are with the victims and all those affected. I commend the work of our emergency services working hard to keep us safe and cope with the ensuing carnage. As ever we urge everyone to assist the authorities so that these criminals can be apprehended and brought to justice.”

Reports of a stabbing in Vauxhall was later determined to be unrelated to the London Bridge and Borough Market.

The Metropolitan Police issued this statement on the attacks:

  • At 22:08hrs yesterday evening we began to receive reports that a vehicle had struck pedestrians on London Bridge.
  • The vehicle continued to drive from London Bridge to Borough Market.
  • The suspects then left the vehicle and a number of people were stabbed, including an on-duty British Transport Police officer who was responding to the incident at London Bridge. He received serious but not life-threatening injuries. His family has been informed.
  • Armed officers responded very quickly and bravely, confronting three male suspects who were shot and killed in Borough Market. The suspects had been confronted and shot by the police within eight minutes of the first call. The suspects were wearing what looked like explosive vests but these were later established to be hoaxes.

National Rail wrote in a tweet that “trains unable to call at London Bridge, Waterloo East, London Charing Cross and London Cannon Street”.

In a tweet early Sunday, London police asked the public to “remain calm, but be alert & vigilant”.

In the U.S., President Donald Trump tweeted support for London shortly after the attacks Saturday, just as he administration announced it would ask the Supreme Court to allow a controversial travel ban critics say discriminates against Muslims.

“We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety,” Trump wrote. Trump’s travel ban was stuck down by lower courts.

The tweet provoked a storm of criticism from commentators who saw it as a piece of opportunism at London’s expense.

Daniel Drezner, a politics professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, responded furiously, denouncing the president as “a cheap hustler occupying an office that you don’t understand”, reported London’s Guardian.
Police respond to London attacks – in pictures

John Horgan, a psychologist and terrorist expert at Georgia State University responded to the tweet by calling Trump the “Opportunist-in-Chief”.

Adam Wagner, a British human rights barrister in said: “Message from London: political point scoring is the absolute, LAST thing we need right now.”

Trump later tweeted, “Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U. K., we will be there – WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!”.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 4 : Borough Underground Station remains closed, following last night incident where six people were killed in a terror attack in which three assailants were shot dead by police, on June 4, 2017. At least six people were killed in attacks late Saturday as a van mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge before attackers then stabbed victims at nearby Borough Market. ( Isabel Infantes - Anadolu Agency )
[Photo: Borough Underground Station remains closed, following last night incident where six people were killed in a terror attack in which three assailants were shot dead by police, on June 4, 2017.  Photgrapher: Isabel Infantes/ Anadolu Agency]

The U.K. has been the site of deadly terror attacks in recent months.

British national Khalid Masood carried out an attack in March by mowing down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before attacking police outside of the parliament building.

Three civilians were killed on the bridge and one police officer was stabbed to death outside the parliament. Dozens of people were injured in the attack.

Masood was shot dead moments after the attack.

More recently, 22 victims were killed when suspected suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a device May 22 in the foyer area of the Manchester Arena at the end of a pop concert. Fifty-nine others were injured.

The terror threat level was upgraded following that attack to “critical” – which meant a terror attack was imminent, but it was downgraded to “severe” after a few days.

[Photo: Members of the public leave the scene of terror attacks on London Bridge and nearby Borough Market in central London on June 3, 2017.  Photogrpher: Muhabiri Behlül Çetinkaya/AA]

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