Police Treating Westminster Attack As Terrorism

Four people have been confirmed dead including a police officer and the alleged attacker, in what police are treating as a terrorist incident.

The assailant was shot by armed police after a car reportedly mounted the pavement and tried to mow down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and and then attempted to charge the gates of parliament.

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The Guardian reports:

Mark Rowley, the head of counter-terrorism at the Met, said a police officer had been killed after being stabbed by a lone attacker attempting to enter the House of Commons. The suspect was shot and killed.

Two other people died moments earlier, when the attacker drove a vehicle at speed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, near parliament, at about 2.40pm on Wednesday.

Rowley said at least 20 people, including three officers, were hurt in the attack on the bridge. A diplomatic source told Reuters three French students were among the injured
Officer dies from stab wounds and police shoot dead attacker after assault on Houses of Parliament

“This is a day we’ve planned for but hoped would never happen, sadly it’s now a reality,” he said. “The attack started when a car was driven over Westminster Bridge hitting and injuring a number of members of the public, also including three police officers on their way back from a commendation ceremony.

“The car then crashed near to parliament and at least one man armed with a knife continued the attack and tried to enter parliament.

“Sadly, I can confirm that four people have died. That includes the police officer protecting parliament and one man we believe to be the attacker, who was shot by a police firearms officer. The officer’s family have been made aware. At least 20 people have been injured.”

One woman is believed to have been thrown over the bridge into the river Thames – and later pulled alive from the water – while another fell on to a hard surface below the bridge.

The vehicle came to a halt on the pavement, up against railings to the north of New Palace Yard, the green space adjacent to Big Ben, opposite an entrance to Westminster tube station.

A man with a knife was then seen running through the gates of the Palace of Westminster, across New Palace Yard and stabbing a police officer. The attacker continued his rampage, targeting a second officer, according to witnesses, but was shot by police as he approached the second officer clutching his knife.