The three terrorists shot dead by police after stabbing several people in the Borough Market area of London were wearing fake suicide vests, UK police said Sunday.
“The suspects were wearing what looked like explosive vests but these were later established to be hoaxes,” Britain’s head of counter-terrorism Mark Rowley said.
Multiple casualties and up to seven fatalities were reported on Saturday night after a vehicle veered off the road and mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge and up to five men carried out knife attacks at nearby Borough Market.
A photograph showed three men lying on the ground in Borough, apparently having been shot by police.
One of them appeared to be wearing combat trousers with what looked like a belt with canisters attached to it.
The police force earlier declared the attacks as “terrorist incidents.”
Just minutes before the attacks, pubs were crammed with revelers enjoying a balmy summer night out in a trendy part of the city, many of them watching the Champions League final on big screens.
Video clips circulating on social media showed police officers rushing into bars and restaurants to instruct customers to get under the tables.
— Lawk Ghafuri (@LawkGhafuri) June 4, 2017
Gerard Kavanar, 46, who lives by Tower Bridge, told AFP: “There was lot of chefs in white costumes, one had blood on his shoulder. He told me he was a Romanian chef and that three people attacked his restaurant with a machete and knife.
“He had a video on his phone and he showed me a small piece. You could see an older guy lying on the floor with blood around him.”
Police boats scanned the Thames in the dark while helicopters circled overhead and streets were cordoned off. An emergency response helicopter landed on London Bridge, while emergency service workers rushed people on trolleys to waiting ambulances.
Members of the public were seen leaving the scene wrapped in foil emergency blankets while armed police patrolled the scene.
Debris could be seen on the bridge where people had fled the scene.
Jacob Chick, 23, a nightclub security worker who lives nearby, said he saw a convoy of ambulances.
“It’s frustrating how these kind of things are becoming more frequent,” he said.