Loading articles...

Four dead, dozens hurt in UK Parliament attack treated as 'terror incident'

Last Updated Mar 24, 2017 at 7:14 am PDT

Summary

One officer is among the dead following an attack at the British Parliament buildings

Police deploying extra officers as counter-terrorism investigation is launched in the UK

LONDON, UK. (NEWS 1130) – As the UK grieves following today’s terror attack,Prime Minister Theresa May says the UK will not give in to terror and those who target the seat of power in Britain.

“We will all move forward together, never giving in to terror and never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart”

May praised investigators for quickly ending the violence she calls sick and depraved. “Police ran towards the danger, even as they encouraged others to move the other way.”

It was a scary situation which unfolded at the British House of Commons this morning after a man, who was reportedly armed, rushed the entrance following a crash on a nearby bridge.

Scotland Yard confirms five people have been killed following an attack at the British Parliament buildings. Among the dead is a police officer, Keith Palmer, and the suspect, believed to be the only attacker. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack although police say they think they may know who the person is and there are some ties to a terrorist organization.

“There is an ongoing investigation being led by the counter-terrorism command and we would ask anybody who has images or film of the incident to pass those to the police. We know there are a number of casualties, including police officers,” says London Metropolitan Police Commander BJ Harrington who adds there will an increase police presence across the city. 

 

“We were just about to take a vote when this incident occurred which meant a lot of members of Parliament were on their way to the chamber in the lobby to vote. And as we arrived we were told to remain in the area of the chamber because of this incident,” explains MP Kevin Brennan.

Police apparently shot and killed the suspect after an officer was reportedly stabbed, and a vehicle mowed down several people on the nearby Westminster Bridge.

The House of Commons sitting was suspended and Prime Minister Theresa May was quickly evacuated from the area.

Commons Leader David Lidington says the “alleged assailant was shot by armed police.”

London’s police said officers had been called to a firearms incident on Westminster Bridge, near Parliament, and that when they arrived there were multiple attacks taking place.

Metropolitan Police are treating this as a terror incident.

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says that French high school students are among the wounded in the attack in London.

“We are working closely with other members of the emergency services at the scene, with our priority being to ensure patients receive the medical help they need as quickly as possible. We have declared a major incident and our priority is to assess patients and ensure that they are treated and taken to hospital as soon as possible,” says London Ambulance Service Deputy Director of Operations Pauline Cranmer.

The threat level for international terrorism in the UK has been listed as severe.

Canada responds to attack

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood up in the House of Commons to make a brief statement. “Canada and the UK are close friends and allies and our message to the citizens of the United Kingdom and our colleagues in the British Parliament is simple: we stand with you.”

Global Affairs Minister Ralph Goodale also spoke on Parliament Hill and said Canada stands ready to help in any way possible.

He adds investigators have told him this violence was planned. “Their preliminary assessment, it is a terrorist incident and it is being handled by the terrorist division within the Metropolitan Police force. That’s obviously subject to further investigation that is up to the British to do.”

Goodale adds there’s no change in the threat level in Canada — which stands at medium — but Canadian security agencies are taking appropriate action to ensure our safety.

Global Affairs staff has also confirmed they are “closely monitoring developments” in the United Kingdom. They’ve been in contact with local authorities and say, if needed, they are ready to provide support to Canadians.

Canadians in the UK requiring emergency consular assistance can contact the High Commission of Canada in London at +44 (0) 207 004 6000, or call the government’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre at +1 613 996 8885, or toll free at 00 800 2326 6831. An email can also be sent to sos@international.gc.ca.

Canadians are encouraged to consult the Travel Advice page for the United Kingdom on Travel.gc.ca for up-to-date information on the situation.