Update: The death toll in the London Bridge attack increased from seven to eight after a body was found in the River Thames. The authorities have not released the name of the eighth victim, but the family of a missing French national, Xavier Thomas, was notified that his body was recovered.
Update June 6, 2017: Authorities in the U.K. released the name of the third suspect involved in the London Bridge attack last Saturday. Youssef Zaghba was a 22-year-old man born in Italy and of Moroccan descent. The police said he was not a subject of interest before the attack took place. Zaghba and the other two attackers, Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane, were fatally shot by the police.
Update June 5, 2017: British authorities have released the names and photographs of two of the three suspects in the London Bridge attack.
Khuram Shazad Butt was a 27-year-old British citizen of Pakistani descent who was known to the authorities. He had also appeared in a recent Channel 4 documentary called "The Jihadist Next Door." The second suspect, Rachid Redouane, was a 30-year-old who claims to be of Moroccan and Libyan descent. The authorities said they are still working to confirm the identity of the third suspect. All three suspects were killed by the police on Saturday.
This article was originally published on June 3, 2017.
A terrorist attack struck London Saturday night, with police now saying seven are dead and the city’s Ambulance Service transporting at least 48 people to various hospitals around the city in the wake of the incident.
London's Metropolitan Police announced that three male suspects were also shot and killed, within eight minutes of the attack being reported. 12 suspects were arrested on Sunday in the nearby east London area of Barking, with searches in the neighborhood continuing.
The first incident was confirmed by the Metropolitan Police at 10:28 p.m. BT at London Bridge. Pedestrians were reportedly mowed down by a vehicle, with the BBC reporting that eyewitnesses, including one of their reporters, saw the vehicle hit multiple people.
BBC reporter Holly Jones, who was on London Bridge at the time of the attack, said that she saw a van “probably traveling at about 50 miles an hour,” being driven by a man. "He swerved right round me and then hit about five or six people. He hit about two people in front of me and then three behind," Jones told the BBC.
The second incident was reported at nearby Borough Market at 11:16 p.m. BT, an area full of restaurants and bars. Details about this attack have not been made available. The London Police confirmed that shots were fired after armed officers responded to the scene.
The Metropolitan Police's Assistant Commissioner, Mark Rowley, said that the suspects drove from London Bridge to Borough Market, where they "left the vehicle and a number of people were stabbed, including an on-duty British Transport Police officer who was responding to the incident at London Bridge. He received serious but not life-threatening injuries."
Armed officers confronted the three suspects at Borough Market, where the suspects were shot and killed. Rowley said, "The suspects were wearing what looked like explosive vests but these were later established to be hoaxes."
A third attack was reported in the Vauxhall area at 11:44 p.m. BT but was later declared by police to be unrelated.
The police advised Londoners involved in the attacks to run away, rather than negotiate or surrender with attackers. If they were unable to get away, citizens were instructed to hide with their phones off and call the police and make a report when they were able.
Within an hour, Prime Minister Theresa May made a declaration. “Following updates from police and security officials, I can confirm that the terrible incident in London is being treated as a potential act of terrorism,” May said. The Metropolitan Police followed suit, confirming two incidents were being treated as terror attacks at 12:50 a.m. BT.
Prime Minister May described Saturday night's events as "dreadful" in a statement. Campaigning for the U.K.'s national general election, due to take place this Thursday, the 8th of June, has been suspended in the wake of the attack.
This morning, Prime Minister May will chair a meeting of the U.K. government's Cobra emergency committee.
In a statement, Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said, “We don't yet know the full details, but this was a deliberate and cowardly attack on innocent Londoners and visitors to our city enjoying their Saturday night. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. There is no justification whatsoever for such barbaric acts.”
U.S. President Donald Trump was briefed on the attacks and tweeted his support to the UK, saying his country would do whatever was needed to help. He also tweeted about his so-called travel ban, citing this incident as a reason to support it.
The U.S. State Department issued a statement condemning the attacks, with spokeswoman Heather Nauert echoing the president's statements by saying, “The United States stands ready to provide any assistance authorities in the United Kingdom may request."
London Bridge remains closed overnight, with the neighboring Southwark Bridge also closed. Several London tube stops were also closed, along with Borough High Street.
The attack came two weeks after the Manchester attack during an Ariana Grande concert, and less than three months after a terrorist attack on London's Westminster Bridge left six people dead and 49 injured.
This article has been updated throughout.