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Live Blog: Police arrest 12 over deadly London terror attack

Police officers and members of the emergency services attend to a person injured in an attack on London Bridge on June 3, 2017
DANIEL SORABJI (AFP)
Seven people were killed and 48 injured in the car ramming and stabbing attack; three assailants shot dead

British police arrested twelve people on Sunday after raiding the home of one of three assailants shot dead by police in connection with a terrorist attack in central London Saturday night that left seven people dead and 48 others injured.

Police said that searches of a number of addresses in the east London Barking neighborhood were continuing, in connection with a probe into the stabbing and vehicular terrorist attacks.

Three assailants smashed into pedestrians in a van Saturday, before rampaging through a busy night-life hub around London Bridge stabbing victims at random.

The trio wore what looked like suicide vests whichpolice established to be fake, intended to induce panic.

Chris J Ratcliffe (AFP)

More than 48 casualties were rushed to five hospitals in the area, according to the London Ambulance Service.

The attack came just five days ahead of a general election and just minutes after the end of the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Juventus in an area teeming with bars where many fans were watching the football on television.

Britain is on high alert only 12 days after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a concert in Manchester, northwest England and ahead of Thursday's general election, in which security is a major theme.

It is the latest in a string of attacks to hit Europe, including in Paris, Berlin and Saint Petersburg.

'This is for Allah'

Witnesses described the van speeding into several pedestrians on London Bridge and then one or more knife-wielding men sprinting towards bars packed with revellers enjoying a Saturday night out.

One witness described seeing five assailants and several people said they were locked inside pubs and restaurants by police and had to come out with their hands on their heads.

Daniel SORABJI (AFP)

A taxi driver, speaking anonymously to London's LBC radio, said that he tried to run down the three attackers as they stabbed passers-by during the attack: “I thought, ‘I’m gonna try and hit him, I’m gonna try and knock him down.’

“I spun the cab round. I was about to ram one of them but he side-stepped and three police officers came running towards them with their batons drawn.

“I was shouting at everybody, ‘Just get away from the area, stay back, just run the other way.’ There were a good few hundred people out there.”

Italian photographer Gabriele Sciotto, who was watching the Champions League final at the Wheatsheaf pub in Borough Market, said he saw three men shot just outside the pub.

In his picture, a man wearing combat trousers, with a shaved head and what looked like a belt with canisters attached to it could be seen on the ground with two more bodies behind him.

A man called Gerard told the BBC: "They were stabbing everyone. They were running up and going 'This is for Allah'."

DANIEL SORABJI                       (AFP)

Police responded rapidly with dozens of emergency vehicles and authorities led shellshocked members of the public away from the scene.

The three suspects were shot by armed police within eight minutes of the first call to the emergency services.

The attack had harrowing echoes of an attack on London's Westminster Bridge when 52-year-old British Muslim convert Khalid Masood rammed his car into pedestrians before crashing into the barriers surrounding parliament and then stabbing a police officer to death.

'Potential act of terrorism'

Police said the first reports of a "vehicle in collision with pedestrians on London Bridge" came at 10:08pm (2108 GMT) and were quickly followed by "reports of stabbings in Borough Market," at the south end of the bridge.

Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed the "terrible incident in London" was being treated as "a potential act of terrorism."

She will hold an emergency ministerial meeting later on Sunday and Facebook activated its safety check function for people in London to let their loved ones know they are safe.

Chris J Ratcliffe (AFP)

US President Donald Trump offered his help, tweeting "WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!"

French President Emmanuel Macron said France was "more than ever at Britain's side."

US pop star Ariana Grande, whose concert in Manchester was the scene of last week's fatal terror attack, tweeted: "Praying for London".

'Her throat had been cut'

Witnesses on London Bridge reported seeing a van mounting the pavement and hitting pedestrians.

"There was a van that crashed into the fences on London Bridge. And then there was a man with a knife, he was running. He came down the stairs and went to the bar," Dee, 26, who was visibly in shock and declined to give her last name, told AFP.

Sabrina BLANCHARD (AFP)

BBC reporter Holly Jones, who was on London Bridge at the time of the incident, said she saw a van driven by a man travelling "at about 50 miles an hour".

Alex Shellum at the Mudlark pub near the scene of the attack said a woman had come into the bar "bleeding heavily from the neck".

"It appeared that her throat had been cut," he told the BBC.

'Large blade'

Another witness, who gave his name as Alessandro, also told BBC radio that he saw a van strike several people on London Bridge.

"I saw this van going left and right, left and right, trying to catch as many people as he could. And people just tried to get out of the way of the van.

"Then I tried to help people, wounded people."

Husband and wife Ben and Natalie told BBC radio they were outside Borough Market when they witnessed a stabbing.

Yui Mok/PA via AP

Ben said: "We saw people running away and then I saw a man in red with a large blade, at a guess 10 inches long, stabbing a man, about three times.

"It looked like the man had been trying to intervene, but there wasn't much he could do. He was being stabbed quite coldly and he slumped to the ground."

Ben said the man then walked towards another pub. He said they saw a metal chair being thrown towards the man.

"Then we heard three gunshots, definitely gunshots, and we ran."

(Staff with AFP)

Sunday 4 June 2017
7:03 PM
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the London terror attack, according to Aamaq news agency.
6:59 PM
A Frenchman was killed and seven others were wounded in the London terror attack, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Sunday during a visit to Tunisia.
5:22 PM
Police say that eight armed police were dispatched to the site after the attack and fired about 50 rounds -- "an unprecedented number," according to a Metropolitan Police statement on Sunday. A member of the public also received gunshot wounds, which were not critical, and was being treated in hospital.
4:23 PM
Russian President Vladamir Putin shocked by 'brutality and cynicism' of London attack, CNN reported
3:07 PM
A Canadian citizen is among seven killed in the London terrorist attack on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirms. Canada strongly condemns the senseless attack that took place last night in London, United Kingdom, which killed and injured many innocent people. I am heartbroken that a Canadian is among those killed. We grieve with the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones, and wish all those injured a speedy and full recovery."
3:01 PM
New raids are taking place at a property in East Ham in London in connection with the attack, Sky News reports
2:55 PM
NHS England says 21 people injured in the London Bridge terror attack are in a critical condition
2:34 PM
France’s minister for Europe says that four French citizens are among those injured in the London attack. Germany's Foreign Ministry said one of its citizens was also injured. Canada's High Commission in Britain says one of its citizens was "directly impacted" by the attack, without offering any further details.
2:17 PM
2:13 PM
1:32 PM
12:40 PM
Four women wearing Islamic veils were seen being led away by police in east Barking, though it is not clear whether they were among 12 arrested in connection with the attack.
12:39 PM
British counter-terrorism police say they have arrested 12 people in Barking, east London, in connection with the attacks in London. "The investigation into last night's horrific attack in London is progressing rapidly as the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) continue to piece together exactly what occurred," the force said in a statement. "Searches of a number of addresses in Barking are continuing," they added.
11:39 AM
Sky News says identity of one or more of the three terrorists have been established.
11:35 AM
Pope Francis used his Sunday address in St. Peter's square to urge believers to pray for the victims of the deadly attack in London. "May the holy Spirit bring peace to the whole world, cure it of the plagues of war and terrorism, which even last night in London has struck innocent civilians. Let us pray for the victims and those close to them."
11:26 AM
Police operation underway in Barking, East London. Sky News sources say the property being raided is the home of one of the terrorists shot dead during last night's attack.
11:20 AM
11:17 AM
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi condemned the “terrorist attacks” in London and expressed sympathy for the families of the victims, Iranian state television reported. Ghasemi said that an increasing number of extremist attacks is “an alarming signal for the global community” and condemned terrorism in “all shapes and aspects regardless of purpose and motive.”
9:45 AM
British election to go ahead Thursday after London attack: PM
9:43 AM
PM May says Islamist attackers 'copying one another'
9:42 AM
May says this is the third attack in 3 months in the UK, and police have disrupted 5 credible plots since Westminster Bridge attack
9:40 AM
May says 'far too much tolerance' for extremism in British society
9:39 AM
PM Theresa May says many of those injured remain in 'life threatening' condition
9:38 AM
PM Theresa May says no connection between Manchester and London Bridge attack networks
9:38 AM
PM Theresa May confirms that ‘suicide vests’ worn by terrorists were fake, intended to spread panic
9:14 AM
US pop star Ariana Grande will go on with her concert benefiting the victims of a terror attack that targeted one of her shows in Manchester just two weeks ago, despite London Bridge attack. Grande's manager Scooter Braun says 'One Love Manchester' will not only continue but will do so with greater purpose.
6:59 AM
Home Secretary Amber Rudd says threat level is not being raised from severe to critical
6:11 AM
London terror attack death toll rises to seven, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick announces.
5:58 AM
5:37 AM
London's Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick says has a good working relationship with American colleagues, and assumes that intelligence information will be shared with the United States.
5:03 AM
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday condemned the "cruelty and cynicism" of the London attack and called for greater joint efforts in the fight against terror, the Kremlin said. "Putin expresses his profound condolences for the British people and condemns the terrorist attack carried out hours ago in London. This crime shocks with its cruelty and cynicism. The Russian president expressed his certainty that the common response to what has happened should be an increase in combined efforts in the fight against the forces of terror around the world," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
4:54 AM
UK's Labour Party suspends national campaigning for Thursday's election. Leader Jeremy Corbyn released a statement:
"My thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have died and the many who have been injured. Today, we will all grieve for their loss. Those who wish to harm our people, divide our communities and attack our democracy will not succeed. We will stand together to defend our common values of solidarity, humanity and justice, and will not allow terrorists to derail our democratic process."
4:15 AM
Israel's opposition leader Isaac Herzog has condemned Saturday's attack in London
3:54 AM
Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull says one citizen has been injured, and officials are looking into reports that a second was also caught up in the attack
3:46 AM
Israel's Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said "This was an attack not just against the UK but against Western values and democracy. Our prayers are with the victims." He sent a second tweet calling for a united response.
3:40 AM
UK Secretary of State for Justice Elizabeth Truss has praised the 'huge bravery' of emergency services who responded to the attack in London
3:31 AM
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged British citizens to vote in the general election on Thursday.
"They [the terrorists] want to stop us enjoying the freedoms that we have … they want to stop us voting on Thursday in the general election … we can’t allow them to do that.

I’m not an advocate of postponing the election, I’m a passionate believer in democracy … One of the things these terrorists hate is democracy.

People should remain calm and vigilant, carry about their normal business."
3:19 AM
France says two French citizens among London attack 'casualties'
3:19 AM
Angela Merkel says Germany stands with Britain after London attack.
"Today we are united across borders in horror and mourning, but also in determination," Merkel said in a statement. "For Germany, I reiterate that in the fight against all forms of terrorism, we are resolutely at Britain's side."
3:16 AM
PM Theresa May's Conservative party suspends election campaign in wake of London terror attack.
"The Conservative party will not be campaigning nationally today. We will review as the day goes on and as more details of the attack emerge," a spokesman said
2:29 AM
Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs sends a tweet in support of the people of London
2:17 AM
London Ambulance Service confirms it took 48 people to five hospitals across London. It says that is in addition to the six people who died
2:16 AM
The Telegraph reports there are calls on social media for Britain's general election, due to take place on Thursday June 8, to be postponed in the light of the two terror attacks within two weeks
2:05 AM
1:25 AM
1:24 AM
British Transport Police say that one of its officers "was seriously injured as he responded" to the incident
1:20 AM
Prime Minister Theresa May will chair an emergency meeting of the government’s COBRA crisis committee
1:19 AM
London Ambulance Service says more than 30 people were taken to five hospitals across London
1:14 AM
London's Metropolitan Police are "reviewing and planning to strengthen our policing stance across London over the forthcoming days, and there will be additional police and officers deployed across the capital"

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