“Sick and de­praved”

A knife-wield­ing man went on a deadly ram­page in the heart of Bri­tain’s seat of power Wed­nes­day, plow­ing a car into pedes­tri­ans on Lon­don’s West­min­ster Bridge be­fore stab­bing a po­lice of­fi­cer to death inside the gates of Par­lia­ment.

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Jill Law­less, Pais­ley Dodds and Dan­ica Kirka

Five peo­ple were killed, in­clud­ing the as­sailant, and 40 oth­ers were in­jured in what Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May con­demned as a “sick and de­praved ter­ror­ist at­tack.”

Law­mak­ers, lords, staff and vis­i­tors were locked down af­ter the man was shot by po­lice within the perime­ter of Par­lia­ment, just yards from en­trances to the build­ing it­self and in the shadow of the iconic Big Ben clock tower. He died, as did three pedes­tri­ans on the bridge and the po­lice of­fi­cer.

A doc­tor who treated the wounded from the bridge said some had “cat­a­strophic” in­juries. Three po­lice of­fi­cers, sev­eral French teenagers on a school trip, two Ro­ma­nian tourists and five South Korean vis­i­tors were among the in­jured.

Po­lice said they were treat­ing the at­tack as ter­ror­ism. There was no im­me­di­ate claim of re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice coun­tert­er­ror­ism chief Mark Row­ley said po­lice be­lieved there was only one at­tacker, “but it would be fool­ish to be over­con­fi­dent early on.” He said an un­armed po­lice­man, three civil­ians and the at­tacker died. Forty oth­ers, in­clud­ing three po­lice of­fi­cers, were in­jured.

Is­lamic ex­trem­ism was sus­pected in the at­tack, Row­ley said, adding that au­thor­i­ties be­lieve they know the as­sailant’s iden­tity but would not re­veal it while the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was on­go­ing.

The threat level for in­ter- national ter­ror­ism in the U.K. was al­ready listed at se­vere, mean­ing an at­tack was “highly likely.”

Speak­ing out­side 10 Down­ing Street af­ter chair­ing a meet­ing of gov­ern­ment’s emer­gency com­mit­tee, May said that level would not change. She said at­tempts to de­feat Bri­tish val­ues of democ­racy and free­dom through ter­ror­ism would fail.

“To­mor­row morn­ing, Par­lia­ment will meet as nor­mal,” she said. Lon­don­ers and vis­i­tors “will all move for­ward to­gether, never giv­ing in to ter­ror and never al­low­ing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart.”

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump was among world lead­ers of­fer­ing con­do­lences. In Paris the lights of the Eif­fel Tower were dimmed in sol­i­dar­ity with Lon­don.

Lon­don has been a tar­get for ter­ror­ism many times in past decades. Just this week­end, hun­dreds of armed po­lice took part in an ex­er­cise sim­u­lat­ing a “ma­raud­ing” ter­ror­ist at­tack on the River Thames.

Wed­nes­day was the an­niver­sary of sui­cide bomb­ings in the Brus­sels air­port and sub­way that killed 32 peo­ple last year, and the lat­est events echoed re­cent ve­hi­cle at­tacks in Ber­lin and Nice, France.

In the House of Com­mons, leg­is­la­tors were hold­ing a se­ries of votes on pen­sions when deputy Speaker Lind­say Hoyle an­nounced that the sit­ting was be­ing sus­pended and told law­mak­ers not to leave.

Par­lia­ment was locked down for sev­eral hours, and the ad­join­ing West­min­ster sub­way sta­tion was shut­tered.

Con­ser­va­tive law­maker To­bias Ell­wood, whose brother was killed in the Bali ter­ror at­tack in 2002, per­formed first aid on the wounded po­lice of­fi­cer, who later died. About 10 yards away lay the as­sailant.

“I tried to stem the flow of blood and give mouth-to­mouth while wait­ing for the medics to ar­rive, but I think he had lost too much blood,” Ell­wood said. “He had mul­ti­ple wounds, un­der the arm and in the back.”

The at­tack be­gan early Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon as a driver in a gray SUV slammed into pedes­tri­ans on the bridge link­ing Par­lia­ment to the south bank of the River Thames.

For­mer Pol­ish for­eign min­is­ter Radek Siko­rski was in a car cross­ing the bridge when he heard “some­thing like a car hit­ting me­tal sheet” and saw peo­ple ly­ing on the pave­ment.

“I saw one per­son who gave no signs of life. One man was bleed­ing from his head. I saw five peo­ple who were at least se­ri­ously in­jured,” Siko­rski told Poland’s TVN24.

Ambulances ar­rived within min­utes to treat peo­ple who lay scat­tered along the length of the bridge. One blood­ied woman lay sur­rounded by a scat­ter­ing of post­cards.

Po­lice said one in­jured woman was pulled from the river.

The car crashed into rail­ings on the north side of the bridge, less than 200 yards from the en­trance to Par­lia­ment. As peo­ple scat­tered in panic, wit­nesses saw a man hold­ing a knife run to­ward the build­ing.

Ste­fan Rousseau, PA via The As­so­ci­ated Press

Con­ser­va­tive Party law­maker To­bias Ell­wood, cen­ter, helps per­form first aid on a po­lice of­fi­cer who later died in the at­tack. The as­sailant’s body lay about 10 yards away. Jour­nal­ist Quentin Letts said a man in black at­tacked the po­lice of­fi­cer be­fore be­ing shot two or three times as he tried to storm into the build­ing.

Source: GoogleEarth The Wash­ing­ton Post

1. A car mows down mul­ti­ple pedes­tri­ans along the West­min­is­ter Bridge. 2. Images show a car crashed against the Par­lia­ment fence. 3. An at­tacker is shot by po­lice within the Par­lia­ment com­pound. 4. Paramedics treat the po­lice of­fi­cer who was fa­tally stabbed by an at­tacker.

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