The attack came on the anniversary of suicide bombings in Brussels that killed 32 people, along with three bombers. The violence raised fears that London, which has been largely spared as a target of recent terrorist attacks, has now joined cities like Paris, Brussels and Berlin as targets of mass violence.
“A full counterterrorism investigation is underway,” Cmdr. B. J. Harrington of the Metropolitan Police said at a brief news conference, at which he pleaded with members of the public to stay away from a broad section of central London, to report any suspicious activity and to share any images or video of the violence.
Commander Harrington said that the police knew of “a number of casualties, including police officers,” but that he could not confirm a precise figure. He also said that the acting police commissioner, Craig Mackey, was at the scene of the attack and was not injured, but was “being treated as a significant witness.”
Among the people injured were a group of visiting French students and a woman who fell or plunged into the River Thames.
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