Thursday 19 October 2017

Everything we know about the London Bridge terror attack

The attackers struck just 24 hours ahead of the One Love Manchester benefit concert to raise money for the Manchester attack victims.

By Zaina Alibhai

Twelve arrests have been made hours after three men caused chaos in the capital, leaving seven dead and dozens more injured in a van and knife attack.

All of the suspects were shot dead at the scene by police, with authorities soon launching an investigation into the Saturday night incidents that have been labelled terror attacks.

Here’s everything we know about the London Bridge attack on Sunday afternoon.

What happened?

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Police and ambulance services were called to London Bridge just after 10pm on Saturday after reports a white van had ploughed into pedestrians.

The van crashed outside The Barrowboy & Banker pub on Borough High Street, where three men left the vehicle and apparently headed towards Borough Market where they began stabbing people in pubs and restaurants.

Witnesses said three men ran into the Black And Blue restaurant on Stoney Street and began stabbing people indiscriminately, including one person in the face and neck.

A knifeman also stormed the El Pastor restaurant on Stoney Street, forcing diners and staff to take shelter.

Police searching for the knifemen went through bars and restaurants as staff and drinkers hid.

Eight minutes after police were called to the scene three male suspects were shot dead by marksmen near the Wheatsheaf pub on Stoney Street.

The men were wearing what looked like explosive vests but these were later found to be hoaxes.

Do we know anything about the victims?

At least seven people were killed in the attack, police said, and 48 were taken to five hospitals for treatment, London Ambulance Service said.

While the names of the deceased have not been revealed, a few of those being treated for injuries have been identified.

Among them are a British Transport Police officer who was stabbed in the face and Sunday Express journalist Geoff Ho, who was also stabbed.

What do we know about the attackers?

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The three attackers who were shot dead at the scene have not been named as yet. However, police have already made 12 arrests in connection with the attack.

Armed officers swooped on flats in Barking, east London, where they believe one of the attackers may have lived.

A resident who lives in a neighbouring block left her building at around 7am to see police taking four men and a woman away.

More than five hours after the first arrests, a woman in a burka was led into a police van parked outside the flats.

Scotland Yard said 12 people had been detained in Barking “in connection with last night’s incidents” and that searches at a number of addresses in the area were continuing.

What has Theresa May said regarding the attack?

Following an emergency Cobra meeting on Sunday morning, the Prime Minister reiterated she intends to take action on a range of levels in response to the recent attacks in London Bridge, Manchester Arena and Westminster.

She said: “It is time to say ‘Enough is enough’.

“Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values.

“But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change.”

The country’s terror threat has not been raised from its “severe” level to critical, despite the attack.

Is the General Election going ahead?

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Election campaigning has been suspended by all parties apart from Ukip, with leader Paul Nuttall warned that stalling the democratic process could lead to more attacks.

However, Theresa May confirmed the General Election will still go ahead as planned on June 8.

What about the One Love Manchester concert this evening?

A benefit concert for the Manchester bombing victims will still take place but security will be stepped up following the London attack, police have said.

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan from Greater Manchester Police said: “There are two large-scale events taking place in Greater Manchester today and we would like to assure people that these will still take place, but with additional security in place to ensure the safety of everyone.

“There will be additional security checks taking place and everyone will be searched, including bags. We would ask people not to bring bags if they can, as this will help speed up entry.

Ariana Grande’s manager Scooter Braun said in a statement: “After the events last night in London, and those in Manchester just two weeks ago, we feel a sense of responsibility to honour those lost, injured, and affected.

“We plan to honour them with courage, bravery, and defiance in the face of fear. Today’s One Love Manchester benefit concert will not only continue, but will do so with greater purpose.

“We must not be afraid and in tribute to all those affected here and around the world, we will bring our voices together and sing loudly.”

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