London police, on Friday, shot a male accused who was wearing a "hoax explosive device" and was suspected of stabbing several people at London Bridge, to death. The police, who were called in response to the attack at the premises at 2 pm, described the incident as a terror attack.
Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations at the Metropolitan Police Neil Basu, speaking about the incident, said, "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. Emergency services attended, including officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police,"
He, while confirming the subsequent consequences of the incident, said that a "number of people" sustained injuries during the attack. He told the media that updates about their conditions will be given soon. Basu also said, "Our heartfelt sympathies go out to those anxiously awaiting news from loved ones."
He further added, "Due to the nature of the incident, we responded as though it was terrorist-related. I am now in a position to confirm that it has been declared a terrorist incident. We are working jointly with the City of London Police as we continue to respond."
"I can confirm that at this time, 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," the UK's top counter-terrorism officer continued.
He, while adding to the existing information about the incident, said that specialist officers attended the scene due to reports that the suspect may have had an explosive device and underlined that wide cordons are in place to ensure that the public is not harmed.
"Those extensive cordons will remain in place for a considerable time and I would ask the public please continue to avoid the area. Officers from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command are now leading this investigation. I must stress, however, that we retain an open mind as to any motive. It would not be appropriate to speculate further at this time," Basu said.
He further urged the people to share information, image or footage of the attack on the UK Police Image appeal website. "I would also ask the public to continue to remain vigilant and report any concerns they have to police," Basu said, adding that public safety is a top priority and police patrols will be enhanced across London.
In connection with the incident, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted that he is "being kept updated on the incident at London Bridge and want to thank the police and all emergency services for their immediate response".
(With ANI Inputs)