London has experience a second terror attack just two months after a man drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. Initial reports are that six people have been killed.
The London Ambulance Service says it has taken 48 people to five hospitals across London.
Initial police reports indicate that three men, wearing fake explosive vests, drove a white van into pedestrians just after 10pm on the south side of London Bridge. They then jumped out and began stabbing people.
One witness Gerard told the BBC: ‘They were running up shouting, “This is for Allah” They stabbed this girl maybe 10 times, 15 times. She was going, “Help me, help me”.’
Gerard said he chased the attackers, who were running into pubs and bars, and threw bottles and chairs to try to stop them.
Police were on the scene within minutes. All three men were shot and killed by police within eight minutes of being called out.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley has said, ‘We are treating this as a terrorist incident and a full investigation is already under way.’
As news of the attack spread, the UK capital was on high alert. A reported stabbing in nearby Vauxhall prompted police to keep customers inside the long-running LGBT venue, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. It is packed on Saturday nights for long-running queer club night Duckie, hosted by London Night Czar Amy Lamé.
— Rob Holley (@robholley) June 3, 2017
Like last week it’s completely unprocessable. Absolutely tragic.
So grateful to all the police and RVT staff who kept us safe tonight.
— Rob Holley (@robholley) June 4, 2017
Everyone is fine and safe at RVT. Thank you for your tweets of concern.
— Vauxhall_Tavern (@thervt) June 3, 2017
People were kept inside the venue from around 11.45pm. However, by around 1am, the Metropolitan Police had decided that the stabbing was not a terrorist incident and allowed people to leave the venue.
In a message to GSN, Amy Lamé said, ‘All venues in the area have an emergency plan in place, as soon as news was received doors were closed and people were advised not to exit.
‘This was in place for about an hour before police confirmed the incident in Vauxhall was unrelated to the London Bridge incident. The security and staff at the RVT were excellent – calm, prepared and reassuring.’
On police advice, Bloc South in Vauxhall and Ministry of Sound in Elephant and Castle both closed following the attacks. XXL at Pulse remained open.
A spokesperson for XXL told GSN, ‘A police car came to the club and said that they maybe closing all venues – but would keep us informed. They positioned a police van on Blackfriars road across from Ludgate House – there was no follow up from that and it was business as usual.
‘We have increased security and searches, and as a precaution we were only allowing members in last night as we have all their details on our database.’
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) June 3, 2017
Two weeks after Manchester attack
Two weeks ago, a terrorist targeted an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Evening Arena, killing 22. Grande is due to appear on stage in Manchester again today, performing alongside the likes of Justin Beiber and Coldplay at a benefit concert.
Grande was among the first to tweet a message of support.
Praying for London ♡
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) June 4, 2017
The Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, have said that they are temporarily halting their General Election campaigning. The country is due to go to the polls this Thursday. They say they will review the decision throughout the day.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, issued a statement in the wake of the London Bridge attack saying, ‘We don’t yet know the full details, but this was a deliberate and cowardly attack on innocent Londoners and visitors to our city enjoying their Saturday night. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. There is no justification for such barbaric acts.’
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) June 4, 2017
UPDATE 04.06.17 1.30PM: A seventh person has been confirmed dead following last night’s attacks in London Bridge.