Saturday 3 December 2016

Russell Square stabbing: Everything we know about the attack on Thursday morning

Published 04/08/2016 | 07:54

A body is driven away in a private ambulance from the scene in Russell Square, central London, after a knife attack in which a woman in her 60s was killed and five people were injured
A body is driven away in a private ambulance from the scene in Russell Square, central London, after a knife attack in which a woman in her 60s was killed and five people were injured
Police activity in Russell Square, central London, after a knife attack in which a woman in her 60s was killed and five people were injured
Police forensic officers in Russell Square, central London, after a knife attack in which a woman in her 60s was killed and five people were injured

A woman was killed and five other people injured in a stabbing attack in central London on Wednesday night.

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Armed police were called at 10.33 pm  after a man armed with a knife started to attack people in London's Russell Square.

Here's what we know about the attack.

The suspect

Police arrived at the scene of the crime within five minutes of the attack and arrested a 19-year-old man after Tasering him. The suspect was taken to hospital, where he was in police custody.

The motive for the attack was being investigated and police were exploring various lines of inquiry, including terrorism. Commander Mark Rowley said:

"Early indications suggest that mental health is a significant factor in this case and that is one major line of inquiry.

"But of course at this stage we should keep an open mind regarding motive and, consequently, terrorism as a motivation remains but one line of enquiry for us to explore."

Victims

Six people were injured in the attack, one of whom died from her injuries. Police have said the victim who died was a woman in her 60s. The others who were hurt include three men and two women and they suffered "various injuries", police say. 

Police response

Police will maintain a greater presence on the streets of the capital this morning in the wake of the attack. Police said this was a "precautionary measure" to provide reassurance, but members of the public were urged to remain "calm, vigilant and alert".

The incident was being investigated by the Met's homicide command with the support of counter terrorism police.

Location of the attack

The stabbings took place in Russell Square, a park close to the site of a 2005 suicide bombing. The British Museum and University of London are nearby, so  the area is frequented mainly by tourists and students. There are a number of hotels in the area, including Hotel Russell and the Imperial, which overlook the square.

One of the Tube trains targeted in the July 7 attacks was travelling there at the time, while the bus that was blown up was in nearby Tavistock Square.

Telegraph.co.uk

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