LONDON, U.K. (WPRI) – London police say at least seven victims died following a major terrorist incident on London Bridge.
Witnesses have reported seeing people hit by a vehicle on London Bridge around 10 p.m. their time. Police say they’re responding to an incident there and another at Borough Market, a busy area of pubs and restaurants nearby.
The London Ambulance Service says more than 20 people have been injured in the vehicle and knife attack in the London Bridge area. The service says “we have taken at least 20 patients to six hospitals across London.” Several other people were treated at the scene for less serious injuries.
The Metropolitan Police’s head of counter-terrorism Mark Rowley said early Sunday that police believe all the attackers were killed but are conducting further investigation to make certain this is the case. Police shot and killed three suspects. Rowley says the suspects were confronted and shot by police “within eight minutes of the first call.” Rowley says the three attackers were wearing what appeared to be suicide vests but they turned out to be hoaxes.
British Prime Minister Theresa May says the incident involving a vehicle and reported stabbings in London “is being treated as a potential act of terrorism.” May says it is a “fast-moving investigation” and her thoughts are with those caught up in the “dreadful events.”
Downing Street says the prime minister will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency response committee on Sunday.
In the wake of the incidents, President Donald Trump is arguing in favor of his controversial travel ban. Trump began tweeting about the attacks an hour or so after initial news reports. One tweet read: “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!”
Federal courts have blocked Trump’s travel ban on six mostly Muslim countries and refugees from anywhere in the world. His administration is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate it.
Trump also tweeted a pledge of help and support for London, saying, “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!”
The U.S. State Department says that the “United States condemns the cowardly attacks targeting innocent civilians in London this evening.”
Locally, the Massachusetts State Police released the following statement regarding the attacks in London.
As it does in all suspected terrorist attacks, domestic and international, the Commonwealth Fusion Center is monitoring developments and intelligence pertaining to tonight’s attacks in London. The Fusion Center — which collects, analyzes and disseminates intelligence about criminal and terrorist acts and organizations — has been in communication with the US Department of Homeland Security National Operations Center. If any information is developed that has relevance to the safety of Massachusetts residents, the Fusion Center will share it with partner law enforcement agencies and the public. Meanwhile, our thoughts are with the London victims and the emergency responders who again have been confronted by deadly extremist acts.
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo also tweeted a message of support on behalf of all Rhode Islanders late Saturday night.
Britain’s official terror threat had recently been lowered from “critical” after a bombing killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.