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. 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.”
The dead officer has been named as PC Keith Palmer, 48, a husband and father.
British PM Theresa May said the attack was “sick and depraved” and struck at values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech.
The attacker has not been named by police.
Acting Deputy Commissioner and head of counter terrorism at the Metropolitan Police, Mark Rowley, said they think they know who he is and that he was inspired by international and Islamist-related terrorism, but gave no further details.
The attack unfolded at about 14.40 GMT when a single attacker drove a car along a pavement over Westminster Bridge, near the Houses of Parliament in central London, killing at least two people and injuring many more.
The car then crashed into railings outside the Houses of Parliament.
The attacker, armed with a knife, ran to Parliament where he was confronted by the police.
PC Palmer – who was not armed – was then stabbed and killed.
The attacker was shot dead by armed officers.
Mr Rowley paid tribute to PC Palmer, saying: “He was someone who left for work today expecting to return home at the end of his shift, and he had every right to expect that would happen.”
“Heartbroken” former colleague, Conservative MP James Cleverly, paid tribute to the “lovely man” he had known for 25 years. The pair had served together in the Royal Artillery before PC Palmer became a policeman.
Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood – a former Army officer whose brother died in the Bali terrorist bombing in 2002 – attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation of Pc Palmer.
Mrs May said the attack was a “sick and depraved” attack on the heart of the capital. Such attempts to defeat UK values were “doomed to failure”, she said.
She paid tribute to the “exceptional men and women” of the police force who responded to the attack, saying: “We will all move forward together, never giving in to terror and never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart.”
The prime minister added: “The location of this attack was no accident.
“The terrorist chose to strike at the heart of our capital city where people of all nationalities, religions and cultures come together to celebrate the values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech.”
She is expected to make a statement in the Commons later.
Media captionTheresa May: “We will never give in to terror”
U.S. President Donald Trump was among world leaders offering condolences, and in Paris, the lights of the Eiffel Tower were to be dimmed in solidarity with London.
Source: Daily Sun, Dhaka, Bangladesh