London Attack: What We Know So Far

Haroon Siddique, The Guardian, March 23, 2017

UK Parliament Terror Attack

March 22, 2017 – London, UK – Emergency services at the scene outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after policeman has been stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers in a major security incident at the Houses of Parliament. (Credit Image: © Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire via ZUMA Press)

The investigation into a terrorist attack outside the Houses of Parliament in London is continuing.

Here is what the Guardian has been able to confirm so far:

Four people have died, including a police officer and the attacker.

  • Police say 29 other people were treated in hospital, seven of whom are in a critical condition.
  • The assailant drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing two people, before crashing it outside parliament and trying to enter the complex, armed with a knife.
  • He stabbed an unarmed police officer who later died from the injuries, before armed police shot him. The police officer was identified as 48-year-old PC Keith Palmer, who had 15 years of service with the parliamentary and diplomatic protection service. He was a husband and father, police said.
  • Another victim was named as Aysha Frade, 43, who worked as a teacher in London. The mother-of-two had family in Betanzos, Galicia, in north-west Spain, and her death was confirmed by the mayor of the town.
  • The prime minister, Theresa May, said the attacker was British-born and had been investigated “some years ago” by MI5 in relation to concerns about violent extremism. She said the man, whose identity would be revealed in due course, was “not part of the current intelligence picture”.
  • Islamic State (Isis) claimed responsibility for the attack. It released a statement through the Amaq news agency, which it uses to broadcast propaganda, calling the unnamed man “a soldier of Islamic State”. The claim is unverified.
  • The attacker is believed to have acted alone but police are investigating possible associates. May said there was “no reason to believe” further attacks on the public were planned.
  • Police have searched six addresses in Birmingham, London and other parts of the country, and made eight arrests.
  • May told MPs in a statement to parliament on Thursday: “We are not afraid and our resolve will never waiver in the face of terrorism.” The prime minister, who was evacuated from parliament within minutes and driven to Downing Street, described Palmer as “every inch a hero”.
  • Twelve Britons were injured, including three police officers, two of whom were seriously injured. Four university students, three French children, four South Koreans, two Romanians, two Greeks, a Chinese national, an Italian, an American, a Pole, an Irish national and a German woman resident in Australia, were also hurt.
  • A woman who was pulled from the Thames was a Romanian tourist celebrating her boyfriend’s birthday in London, the Romanian ambassador to the UK, Dan Mihalache, told Realitatea TV. She sustained serious head injuries and badly damaged lungs. Her boyfriend suffered a fractured foot.
  • The minister for counter-terrorism, Tobias Ellwood, a former soldier, raced to give first aid to the police officer who later died. Pictures showed him with blood on his face as he administered CPR.
  • The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, vowed “Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism” in a video statement.
  • World leaders condemned the attack and offered condolences. The US president, Donald Trump, spoke to May, promising the UK the full support of the US government in responding to the attack.
  • Leaders of Canada, France, Germany and Spain were among others who sent messages of shock and solidarity.
  • Extra police were on duty across London, and the Metropolitan police force set up a casualty bureau for those worried about friends or family.
  • A service took place in front of Scotland Yard on Thursday morning, in front of the flame that burns as a tribute to all dead Metropolitan police officers.

 

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