A suspected terrorist attack occurred today at outside the Palace of Westminster on Westminster Bridge, in Parliament Square in central London. A vehicle was driven into a crowd of people near the palace gates, and an attacker stabbed people, at least one of them being a police officer. Four people are confirmed to be dead including a armed police officer guarding the Palace of Westminster and Parliament square, a woman mowed down on Westminster Bridge, and a third victim, and the unknown knife attacker who was shot by armed police who quickly attended the scene. 20 people are confirmed injured from the bridge attack.
Parliament; Westminster Hall, Portcullis House and both Norman Shaw South and North buildings are currently in lockdown with many MP’s and their staff waiting for safety clearance. Parliamentary business is suspended until tomorrow.
The attack happened at around 14:40 on 22 March 2017, a grey Hyundai on Westminster Bridge ran into approximately 10 individuals, before crashing into railings. Following that, a man wearing black clothes was seen stabbing a police officer with a knife in Old Palace Yard. After he was warned, two plainclothes police officers shot the individual three or four times.
The Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism unit at New Scotland Yard have asked people to come forward with information and have closed most of the bridges in central London including Lambeth Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Tower Bridge.
Shortly after the incident, additional armed police arrived. An air ambulance attended the scene and emergency services attempted to resuscitate the assailant. Injured members of the public were taken to St Thomas’ Hospital, which is located around 200 metres south of Westminster Bridge. Tobias Ellwood MP attempted to provide resuscitation and stem the bleeding of an injured police officer.
After the incident, Parliament was suspended and MPs were locked into the Commons debating chamber as a precaution, and other Parliamentary staff were told to remain in their offices. All were later evacuated to Westminster Abbey.
Prime Minister Theresa May was evacuated to 10 Downing Street.
Westminster tube station was closed and buses diverted as a precaution. The River Thames was shut between Vauxhall Bridge and the Embankment immediately after the attack. The London Eye was placed in lock-down. The incidents are being treated by the Metropolitan Police as a terrorist attack and asked the public to avoid the area including Parliament Square, Whitehall, Westminster Bridge, Lambeth Bridge, Victoria Street up to the junction with Broadway and Victoria Embankment up to Embankment Tube station.
The UK government’s emergency Cabinet Office Briefing Room (COBRA) committee will meet later today.
Channel 4 news last night named a possible suspect however it was understood that the man they alleged carried out the attack is in prison. However its been announced that police now believe that attacker to be Khalid Masood (52) who is believed to have not been under surveillance by the security service.