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ISIS claims responsibility for attack on London Bridge

ISIS claims responsibility for attack on London Bridge that left seven people dead

UPDATED 5:48 p.m. EST.

LONDON – The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Sunday night for an attack in London that left seven people dead and at least 48 injured.

The first victim has been named as Canadian Chrissy Archibald.

The attack happened Saturday night shortly after 10 p.m. local time when a white van plowed into pedestrians on London Bridge before three men stabbed revelers at nearby Borough Market, an area packed with bars and restaurants.

Police killed all three attackers, who were reportedly wearing fake suicide vests, within eight minutes of the first emergency call. Twelve people were arrested Sunday in an apartment block in the Barking neighborhood of east London in connection with the attack on Sunday.

This is the third terrorist attack on the U.K. in three months. Saturday’s events mirrored an assault on London in March when a man drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, before stabbing a police officer guarding the U.K. Parliament. That attack left five people dead. In late May, a bomb at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester killed 22 and injured over 100.

A witness at the scene told the BBC that “a van came from London Bridge itself, went between the traffic light system and rammed it toward the steps… Then three men got out with long blades 12 inches long and went randomly along Borough High Street stabbing people at random.” Two police officers who tackled the attackers were seriously wounded.

Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick said Sunday morning that those responsible for the attacks were dead. “We believe there were three attackers, and we believe they are dead,” she said.

Another witness, Gerard Vowls, told The Guardian he was in a bar near London Bridge when he saw a woman get stabbed by three men. “I want to know if this girl is still alive. I’ve been walking around for an hour and a half crying my eyes out. I don’t know what to do,” he said. Vowls said he threw chairs, glasses, and bottles at the attackers. “They kept coming to try to stab me … they were stabbing everyone. Evil, evil people.”

Video shot by witness James Yates shows armed police storming London Bridge Bar shouting “Get down! Stay down!”

Several subway lines were suspended Saturday night and London police have warned residents to stay away from the affected areas. London Mayor Sadiq Khan issued a statement that police were investigating a “horrific terrorist attack.”

“We don’t yet know the full details, but this was a deliberate and cowardly attack on innocent Londoners and visitors to our city enjoying their Saturday night. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. There is no justification whatsoever for such barbaric acts.”

“Enough is enough,” British Prime Minister Theresa May wrote in a statement. “While the recent attacks are not connected by common networks,” she added, “they are connected in one important sense. They are bound together by the single, evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division, and promotes sectarianism.”

“In light of what we are learning about the changing threat, we need to review Britain’s counterterrorism strategy to make sure the police and security services have all the powers they need.”

May chaired an emergency Cobra committee meeting Sunday, saying afterwards that there had been “far too much tolerance of extremism” in the U.K.

Google put out a statement Sunday which spoke of their commitment to stamping out spaces on the internet where extremists can spread their message:

The Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats suspended campaign efforts in the wake of the attacks. UKIP, the pro-Brexit right-wing party, refused to follow suit.

Instead, Nigel Farage, the former leader of UKIP, hurled insults at May over Twitter.

U.S. President Donald Trump took the opportunity to make the case for his travel ban for Muslim-majority countries, which was blocked by two separate federal courts and is being appealed to the Supreme Court.

Trump also retweeted a Drudge Report tweet that raised the specter of terrorism prematurely. NBC responded by refusing to report on the content of Trump’s tweet.

Leaders around the world responded to the attacks, offering condolences and solidarity in the fight against terrorism:

 

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