Uncertain UK poll in wake of ter­ror at­tack

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD - WASH­ING­TON POST

LON­DON: The po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Lon­don’s lat­est ter­ror at­tack in­ten­si­fied yes­ter­day as politi­cians of­fi­cially re­sumed cam­paign­ing ahead of an un­pre­dictable elec­tion that sees Bri­tons go to the polls in just two days.

Po­lice car­ried out early morn­ing raids at ad­dresses in Ne­wham and Bark­ing – both in east Lon­don that they said were con­nected to Satur­day night’s Lon­don Bridge at­tack that killed seven peo­ple and in­jured dozens more, including four po­lice of­fi­cers.

The as­sailants have not yet been named, but po­lice say they know their iden­ti­ties.

Speak­ing on the BBC, Lon­don po­lice chief Cres­sida Dick said the ma­jor­ity of re­cent at­tacks have had a “do­mes­tic cen­tre of grav­ity” although with some of them there are “un­doubt­edly in­ter­na­tional di­men­sions”.

Chris­tine Archibald, 30, a Cana­dian from the western prov­ince of Bri­tish Columbia, was the first vic­tim to be named. The 30-year-old had pre­vi­ously worked at a home­less shel­ter in Cal­gary be­fore mov­ing to Europe to live with her fi­ance.

“Please hon­our her by mak­ing your com­mu­nity a bet­ter place. Vol­un­teer your time and labour or do­nate to a home­less shel­ter. Tell them Chrissy sent you,” her family said.

On Sun­day night, tens of thou­sands at­tended an Ari­ana Grande ben­e­fit con­cert that was orig­i­nally in­tended to hon­our the dead from last month’s sui­cide bomb­ing in Manch­ester but was ex­panded to recog­nise the lat­est vic­tims in Lon­don.

Fol­low­ing the May 22 at­tack in Manch­ester, Satur­day night’s vanand-knife ram­page was the sec­ond mass-ca­su­alty at­tack to in­trude on the home­stretch of a par­lia­men­tary cam­paign that was once thought cer­tain to end in a land­slide for Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May and the Con­ser­va­tives. The race has tight­ened in re­cent weeks, and ter­ror­ism has in­tro­duced an un­ex­pected vari­able.

Ri­val party lead­ers lashed out at one an­other. With her premier­ship on the line, May took an ag­gres­sive and com­bat­ive tone, telling the na­tion that “enough is enough” and in­sist­ing there is “far too much tol­er­ance for ex­trem­ism in our coun­try”.

“Things need to change,” May said in a speech out­side the prime min­is­ter’s res­i­dence at 10 Down­ing Street. She blamed the at­tack on the “evil ide­ol­ogy of Is­lamist ex­trem­ism”, called for a thor­ough review of the na­tion’s counter-ter­ror­ism poli­cies and sug­gested she will take a much tougher line if she wins Thurs­day’s vote.

The speech was crit­i­cised by the op­po­si­tion Labour Party as a thinly veiled jab at their far-left leader, Jeremy Cor­byn, whom May has of­ten ac­cused of cod­dling anti-Western mil­i­tants. May, Cor­byn’s back­ers said, had politi­cised the at­tack.

But Cor­byn hit back with his own po­lit­i­cal re­sponse to the killing, ac­cus­ing May and her Con­ser­va­tive al­lies of weak­en­ing se­cu­rity ser­vices through years of aus­ter­ity.

PIC­TURE: EPA

Mem­bers of the pub­lic visit flo­ral trib­utes near Lon­don Bridge yes­ter­day in the af­ter­math of an at­tack in the Bri­tish cap­i­tal. At least seven mem­bers of the pub­lic were killed and dozens in­jured after three at­tack­ers ploughed a van into pedes­tri­ans and later ran­domly stabbed peo­ple on Lon­don Bridge and nearby Borough Mar­ket on Satur­day.

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