At least 4 dead in car rampage, knife attack in London

World Today

Police close the area near Houses of Parliament, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Houses of Parliament, London, Wednesday, March 22, 2017. (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

Four people have died in the terror incident in London, including an attacker and a police officer, the head of counterterrorism at London’s Metropolitan Police, said.

A vehicle mowed down pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge on Wednesday, and the knife-wielding attacker then continued on foot outside Parliament.

The knife-wielding attacker stabbed a police officer and was shot on the grounds outside Parliament, sending the compound into lockdown. Authorities said they were treating the attacks as a terrorist incident.

Police say 40 people have been wounded. A search is underway to make certain no other attackers are in the area — though police believe there was only one attacker.

Rowley said the dead policeman was one of the armed officers who guard Parliament. The other victims were on Westminster Bridge.

British port officials say they pulled a woman from Thames River, injured but alive after the attack.

“We know that there are a number of casualties, including police officers, but at this stage we cannot confirm numbers or the nature of these injuries,” New Scotland Yard Commander BJ Harrington said in a statement on Twitter.

Colleen Anderson of St Thomas’ Hospital said there might be a dozen injured in all, she confirmed that one woman has died and some others have “catastrophic” injuries.

The French prime minister said French high school students among the injured in London.

PHOTOS: Incident at UK Parliament

Click on any image for full-screen gallery and captions.

The threat level for international terrorism in the U.K. was already listed at severe. Wednesday was the anniversary of suicide bombings in the Brussels airport and subway that killed 32 people, and the latest events echoed recent vehicle attacks in Berlin and Nice, France. There was no immediate claim of responsibility and it was not clear if there was more than one attacker.

A European security official told the Associated Press that there was increased chatter on jihadi networks Tuesday following the UK’s adoption of an electronics ban aboard flights from certain mostly Muslim countries.

He said, however, there was no information that the incident was terror-related. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about ongoing security operations.

Former Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski said he was in a taxi leaving Westminster and was checking his email when he heard something like a car crash, “something like a car hitting metal sheet.”

“I look up and I see that a person is lying on the pavement. I started my camera and I saw more people lying on the street and on the pavement,” Sikorski said on Poland’s TVN24.

“People started running up to them. I saw one person who gave no sign of life, another man was bleeding from his head. In all, I saw five people who were at least seriously injured,” he said.

Witness Rick Longley told the Press Association that he saw a man stab the policeman outside the Parliament.

“We were just walking up to the station and there was a loud bang and a guy, someone, crashed a car and took some pedestrians out,” he said.

“They were just laying there and then the whole crowd just surged around the corner by the gates just opposite Big Ben.

“A guy came past my right shoulder with a big knife and just started plunging it into the policeman.

“I have never seen anything like that. I just can’t believe what I just saw.”

The incident in London unfolded within sight of some of the city’s most famous tourist sites, including the London Eye, a large Ferris wheel with pods that have views over the capital. It stopped rotating and footage showed the pods full as viewers watched police and medical crews on the bridge, which has at its north end Big Ben and Parliament, two iconic symbols.

A landmark session of the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday was suspended following news of the incident at the British parliament in London.

Members of the parliament were holding a debate ahead of the scheduled vote on a second Scottish referendum.

The White House says U.S. President Donald Trump has been briefed on a gun and knife incident at Britain’s Parliament in London.

Story by the Associated Press

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross discusses the UK parliament attack

To discuss the attack outside UK parliament, which is being investigated as an act of terror, CGTN’s Asieh Namdar spoke with Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, adjunct assistant professor in Georgetown University’s security studies program.