LONDON (AP) – A man wearing a fake explosive vest stabbed several people Friday in London, killing two in what police are treating as a terrorist attack before being tackled by members of the public and then fatally shot by officers on London Bridge, officials said.
Metropolitan Police Chief Cressida Dick said two stabbing victims had died and three injured people were being treated in a hospital.
She said police were working “at full tilt” to determine whether anyone else was involved in the attack.
The violence erupted two-and-a-half years after a van and knife attack in the same area killed eight people, and less than 2 weeks before Britain holds a national election. The main political parties temporarily suspended campaigning in London as a mark of respect.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that “to the best of our knowledge, the incident has been contained” but that details were still emerging.
Johnson’s office said the prime minister would chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee, COBRA, later Friday evening.
Metropolitan Police counterterrorism chief Neil Basu said the suspect appeared to be wearing a bomb vest but it turned out to be “a hoax explosive device.”
Basu said officers were keeping “an open mind as to any motive.”
Minutes after the stabbings report, witnesses saw a knifeman being wrestled to the ground by members of the public on the bridge before armed-response officers shot him dead.
One video posted on social media showed two men struggling on the bridge before police pulled a man in civilian clothes off a black-clad man on the ground. Gunshots followed.