UK prime minister says London incident ‘possible act of terrorism’
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UK prime minister says London incident ‘possible act of terrorism’

Theresa May to chair meeting of the government’s emergency response committee following ‘terrible incident’ involving apparent ramming and stabbings

An armed police officer looks through his weapon on London Bridge in London, June 3, 2017. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)
An armed police officer looks through his weapon on London Bridge in London, June 3, 2017. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

British Prime Minister Theresa May called the events in London a “potential act of terrorism” after reports of a van hitting pedestrians, stabbings and armed police firing shots around the London Bridge area.

“Following updates from police and security officials, I can confirm that the terrible incident in London is being treated as a potential act of terrorism,” May said in a statement.

The Metropolitan Police said they were called just after 10 p.m. local time to reports of a vehicle hitting pedestrians on the bridge, which crosses the River Thames in central London.

Soon after, there were reported stabbings at nearby Borough Market. The force said armed officers were sent to the scenes and shots were fired. They did not say if officers fired the shots. Police also said they were responding to another incident in the Vauxhall area, over a mile away.

Emergency personnel on London Bridge after an incident in central London, June 3, 2017. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)
Emergency personnel on London Bridge after an incident in central London, June 3, 2017. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

 

Downing Street said May will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency response committee on Sunday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May takes part in 'The Question Time, Leaders Special' hosted by David Dimbleby in York in northern England on June 2, 2017, ahead of the upcoming general election. (AFP/Stefan Rousseau)
British PM Theresa May. (AFP/Stefan Rousseau)

A spokesman for May said the prime minister is in contact with officials and is being regularly updated.

President Donald Trump offered US help Saturday to Britain in response to the reports.

“Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the UK, we will be there – WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Trump has been briefed by his national security team on the London Bridge incident, his spokesman Sean Spicer wrote earlier on Twitter.

Minutes before the tweet offering aid, without mentioning the London violence Trump wrote a tweet plugging his thwarted travel ban on people from six mainly Muslim countries.

Trump tweeted: “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!”

The US Justice Department on Thursday went to the Supreme Court to ask that it be reinstated immediately after it has been held up repeatedly in lower courts.

The incident is reminiscent of the March Westminster Bridge terror attack in which five people were killed and more than 50 wounded.

The attacker, 52-year-old British Muslim convert Khalid Mahmood rammed his car into pedestrians before crashing into the barriers surrounding parliament and then stabbing a police officer to death. He was then shot dead by police at the scene. Investigators later described the lone-wolf attack as “Islamist related terrorism.”

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