LONDON TERRORIST attack occurs on the first anniversary of the terrorist bombings in Brussels that killed 32 people.
Five people have died and at least 40 were injured on Wednesday afternoon as the attacker drove a car along the pavement of Westminster Bridge, ploughing into pedestrians, before fatally stabbing a policeman and being shot dead by police in the grounds of Parliament.
The dead officer has been named as PC Keith Palmer, 48, a husband and father.
The attack unfolded at about 14.40 GMT when a single attacker drove a grey Hyundai along the pavement, 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.
Mark Rowley, Acting Deputy Commissioner and head of counter terrorism at the Metropolitan Police, said approximately 40 others were injured in the British Parliament complex. Rowley said that figure included three police officers, two of whom remain in serious condition.
The dead attacker, whose identity has not been revealed, is believed to be the only suspect. The police’s working assumption is that the attacker was inspired by international and Islamist-related terrorism.
Londoners can expect to see heavier police presence, both armed and unarmed, throughout the city for the next few days, Rowley said.
On Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Theresa May gave a stirring speech, condemning the ‘sick and depraved’ attack and promising attempts to defeat UK values were ‘doomed for failure’. May applauded the heroism demonstrated by the police, 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.’
London mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘My message to those that want to harm us and destroy our way of life is: You won’t succeed; you won’t divide us; we won’t be cowed by terrorists.’
Police confirmed that a full counter terrorism operation is underway and that they are increasing law enforcement presence around the city.