In a ghastly attack, an unidentified attacker took United Kingdom capital London by shock reportedly opened fire on several people outside the country’s Parliament. The assailant was later shot dead near the British Parliament complex, in what Scotland Yard are describing as a “terrorist incident”. British Prime Minister Theresa May, who had just completed her weekly Prime Minister’s Questions, was seen taken inside a car at the time of attack. In a report, Downing Street said the PM was “safe” as emergency services helicopter was seen landing in Parliament Square. The area around the Parliament was cordoned off and closed to traffic. “We are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise,” the Metropolitan Police said on Twitter. As per various reports, the attacker, who even mowed down several people by his car, was trying to gain an entry into the Parliament via the main entrance and stabbed a police officer. Some of the cops in plain clothes warned him before shooting a number of rounds. He was later seen being covered by blankets, presumed dead. Another report said that a speeding vehicle mowed down several pedestrians on Westminster Bridge nearby before ramming into the side of the House of Commons building.
It remains unclear how many attackers may have been involved in the terror incident.
Commons Leader David Lidington, who suspended Parliament proceedings, told MPs the “alleged assailant was shot by armed police”. “It seems that a police officer has been stabbed, that the alleged assailant was shot by armed police. An air ambulance is currently attending the scene to remove the casualties,” Lidington said. “There are also reports of further violent incidents in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster but I hope colleagues on all sides will appreciate that it’d be wrong of me to go into further details until we have confirmation from the police and from the House security authorities about what is going on,” he added.
A view of the scene outside UK Parliament following a major security incident in London https://t.co/8OiQIg4h9l pic.twitter.com/6ytwTIim1F
— CNN International (@cnni) March 22, 2017
Press Association political editor Andrew Woodcock, who witnessed the scenes unfolding from his office window, said, “I heard shouts and screams from outside and looked out, and there was a group of maybe 40 or 50 people running round the corner from Bridge Street into Parliament Square. “They appeared to be running away from something. “As the group arrived at the Carriage Gates, where policemen are posted at the security entrance, a man suddenly ran out of the crowd and into the yard. “He seemed to be holding up a long kitchen knife,” he said. An eye witness, Radoslaw Sikorski, a senior fellow at Harvard’s Centre for European Studies, posted a video to Twitter purporting to show people lying injured in the road on Westminster Bridge. He wrote: “A car on Westminster Bridge has just mowed down at least 5 people.”