Several people were stabbed and one man was shot by police officers in a major incident in a busy part of central London Friday afternoon.

Police have declared the attack a terrorist incident.

Neil Basu, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner said at a press conference: “We believe a device that was strapped to the body of the suspect is a hoax explosive device. Officers continue to carry out meticulous searches in the area to ensure there is no outstanding threat to the public.

“A male suspect was shot by specialist armed officers from the City of London police, and I can confirm that this suspect died at the scene.”

He said a number of other people received injuries during this incident.

“As you would expect due to the nature of the incident, we responded as though this was terrorist related. I’m now in a position to confirm that it has been declared a terrorist incident,” he said.

Basu said the Prime Minister has asked for a personal briefing and he would be heading with the Commissioner of the Met to Downing Street immediately.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said in a tweet: “I want to thank the emergency services and members of the public for their immense bravery in responding to this suspected terrorist attack at London Bridge.

“This is an appalling incident and all my thoughts are with the victims and their families.”

The area, which is a busy tourist destination and close to many office buildings, was on lockdown following the incident as dozens of armed police and emergency vehicles flooded the area. Pedestrians were seen running across the bridge as the incident unfolded. Buses on the bridge were at a standstill and trains were not stopping at London Bridge station.

The Metropolitan Police said that officers were called to a stabbing at a premises near London Bridge at 1:58pm. Emergency services, including ambulances also attended the incident.

A coach driver, who was forced to abandon his bus on London Bridge, told MarketWatch: “I heard shots, and then a passenger pointed out someone on the floor.”

“The police said, ‘Go, go, go — leave,’ and everyone started running.”

Another eyewitness also reported having heard shots and moving quickly away from the bridge, while another was forced by police to leave his car.

The area around the Shard, London’s tallest building, has been evacuated by police as officers shouted at the public to move away and down toward London Bridge Station.

The station, too, has been completely evacuated.

The incident took place in the same area that was hit by a terror attack in June 2017 when three men drove a van into pedestrians on the bridge. The men, who were inspired by Islamic State, then went on a stabbing rampage before all three were shot dead by London police officers. Eight people died and 48 were injured in that incident.

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2019-11-29