London attack death toll rises

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LONDON – The death toll has risen to seven, with 48 others injured, after the London terror attack in which three suspects were shot dead by police.


A white van hit pedestrians on London Bridge at about 22:00 BST on Saturday, then three men got out and stabbed people in nearby Borough Market.


Police said the three men were wearing fake bomb vests.


One of those hurt is a police officer who was stabbed after going to help. His injuries are not life-threatening.


Most political parties have suspended national general election campaigning in light of the attack, but UKIP leader Paul Nuttall said he would carry on because that was “precisely what extremists would want us to do”.


The prime minister has chaired a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee and is expected to make a statement shortly.


Borough Market is an area known for its bars and restaurants which were busy on a warm summer evening.


Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick praised the “extraordinary bravery” of her officers, on and off duty, who risked their lives by rushing to confront the attackers.


The three suspects were shot dead within eight minutes of the first 999 call being received.


It is the third terror attack in the UK in three months following the car and knife attack in Westminster in March, which left five people dead, and the Manchester bombing less than two weeks ago, in which 22 people were killed.


Commissioner Dick said she understood there could be a certain amount of “fear” among Londoners, but added: “The last thing we need is people over-reacting or taking out their frustrations on people in other communities or in their own communities.”


Eyewitnesses to the attack described seeing a white van travelling at high speed along London Bridge before crashing close to the Barrowboy and Banker pub.


BBC reporter Holly Jones, who was on the bridge at the time of the attack, said the van was “probably travelling at about 50 miles an hour”.


“He swerved right round me and then hit about five or six people. He hit about two people in front of me and then three behind,” she said.


Three men then got out and began attacking people in the nearby market – one witness, Gerard, told the BBC they were shouting “This is for Allah”.


Steven Gibbs, who was drinking in St Christopher’s Inn, just metres from the scene, told the BBC: “A black cab drove past and the driver shouted, ‘Terrorist attack, run!’


“I stood up to take a look and then all of a sudden there were gunshots. Lots of people were screaming.”


Steven was taken into the basement of the bar before the police came in and told everyone inside to run.


“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” he said.

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