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#LondonAttack: Terror attack in central London close to Parlamient,at least 2 dead and dozens of injured people

At least two people are dead after a terror attacker brought carnage to central London today, mowing down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before attacking police with a knife in the grounds of the Houses of Parliament. 

More than 12 people are said to have been hit by a vehicle on the bridge after a 4x4 drove into pedestrians and cyclists before crashing into the gates of Parliament.

An intruder, described by a witness as 'middle-aged and Asian', then managed to break into the grounds of the Parliament and stabbed a police officer before he was shot. The policeman is thought to have since died. 

An hour after the attack, paramedics removed one person from the scene after extensive CPR. Another body appeared to have been left on the ground covered by a red blanket.

A doctor at St Thomas' Hospital has said one woman has died and a number of others have been hurt - including some with 'catastrophic' injuries. 

Prime Minister Theresa May is said to have been bundled into a car by a plain-clothes police officer and driven quickly from the scene.

Scotland Yard said the attack, which comes a year to the day after the terrorist atrocities in Brussels, is being treated 'as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise'.

A police officer was stabbed by the knifeman before he was shot by other officers. Paramedics are now treating the injured 

A man, believed to be the attacker, is put on the stretcher and wheeled into an ambulance inside the grounds of Parliament

A knife was seen on the cobbles in front of Parliament after the attacker was shot by armed police protecting the building

Emergency services at the scene outside the Palace of Westminster after a policeman was stabbed this afternoon

Emergency teams were seen carrying out CPR inside the palace grounds in New Palace Yard, the main thoroughfare in and out of Parliament

There were disturbing scenes on Westminster Bridge where around a dozen pedestrians were knocked down by the car

Members of the public rushed to help a man run down after the vehicle mounted the pavement on Westminster Bridge


A woman lies severely injured at a postcard stall opposite Big Ben this afternoon following the horrific terror attack

Commons Leader David Lidington told MPs a 'police officer has been stabbed' and the 'alleged assailant was shot by armed police' following a 'serious' incident within the parliamentary estate.

Witness Jayne Wilkinson said: 'We were taking photos of Big Ben and we saw all the people running towards us, and then there was an Asian guy in about his 40s carrying a knife about seven or eight inches long.

'And then there were three shots fired, and then we crossed the road and looked over. The man was on the floor with blood.

'He had a lightweight jacket on, dark trousers and a shirt. He was running through those gates, towards Parliament, and the police were chasing him.'

Her partner David Turner added: 'There was a stampede of people running out. You saw the people and you thought 'what the hell is going on'.'

Steve Voake, 55, was walking across the Westminster Bridge and saw at least two bodies lying on the road and one in the water.

'I saw a trainer lying in the road and when I looked more closely I saw that there were a couple of bodies the other side of the road,' he told the Press Association.

'And when I looked over the side there was another body lying in the water with blood all around it.'

Speaking to reporters outside the central London hospital, junior doctor Colleen Anderson from St Thomas' Hospital said a female pedestrian had died.

She also said she treated a police officer in his 30s with a head injury who had been taken to King's College Hospital.

She said: 'I confirmed one fatality. A woman. She was under the wheel of a bus. She died, confirmed her death at the scene.'

It is believed this was the series of events this afternoon where a knife attacker drove into pedestrians before he was shot

Armed Police have opened fire and shot a person outside the Houses of Parliament. A vehicle was seen on social media to have crashed into the fence of the palace

An injured victim walks from the scene on Westminster Bridge where more than 10 people were reported knocked down

A man is thought to have jumped or been knocked from Westminster Bridge and lay with terrible injuries next to the Thames

Pieces of a car's undercarriage lay scattered on the pavement of Westminster Bridge as the public went to the aid of victims

A pedestrian lies stricken on Westminster Bridge after reports a car knocked down people near the Houses Parliament

A spokesman for the Port of London Authority, which looks after safety on the River Thames, said: 'A female member of the public was recovered from the water near Westminster Bridge. She is alive but undergoing urgent medical treatment on a nearby pier. We believe she fell from the bridge.'

He said the river has been closed from Vauxhall to Embankment 'as part of the security response'.

Mail journalist Quentin Letts saw the incident out of the window of a Commons office. He told the BBC: 'We heard this sound that sounded like a car crash… Then we saw a thick set man in black clothes come through the gates where people would normally drive cars

'This man had something in his hand. It looked like a stick. He was challenged by two policemen. The policeman fell down.

'We could see the man in black moving his arm in a way that suggested he was either striking or stabbing.'

A woman was either knocked, jumped or fell in the River Thames during the attack but was rescued by boat crews

Paramedics wheel away a victim on Westminster Bridge. A doctor at St Thomas' hospital said some have catastrophic injuries

Police closed off the bridge today while members of the public and paramedics helped those injured on the bridge

The area was closed off and an air ambulance was seen landing as police sealed the area

Kevin Schofield, the editor of heard 'a very loud bang' from the press gallery inside the Houses of Parliament followed by lots of shouting and men running around.

He initially thought it was a car crash but then he looked outside the window to a heavily-guarded area outside which is out of bounds to the public.

He told Sky News: 'Someone rushed through, attacked a policeman, a policeman went down, another policeman came and he was rescued.

'The man who had assaulted him got up and he appeared to be carrying either a knife or a gun. Then we heard gunfire, lots of gunfire, maybe five or six rounds.

'All I remember seeing is the man approaching the police officer probably with a knife and then there was gunfire.'

An aerial view of Westminster Bridge shows ambulance crews treating those who were mowed down by the attacker

An aerial view of the scene shows the scene where victims inside Parliament were being treated

A view from the opposite angle shows where the policeman was attacked in the shadow of Big Ben this afternoon

An announcement made in Parliament said there was a suspicious package in a vehicle and the bomb squad had been called

The attacker mowed down several pedestrians as he drove a grey Hyundai i40 across Westminster Bridge

Around three shots rang out as the attacker ran through the gates into the front yard of the parliamentary compound.

Tourists who were riding the London Eye when the attack took place are currently being held inside the pods of the attraction as a safety measure.

The Ferris wheel's official Twitter account said given its close proximity to the Houses of Parliament, it would be keeping hold 'of all its guests as per tried and tested security procedures'.

Eyewitness Rick Longley described the attack saying: 'We were just walking up to the station and there was a loud bang and a guy, someone, crashed a car and took some pedestrians out.

'They were just laying there and then the whole crowd just surged around the corner by the gates just opposite Big Ben.

'A guy came past my right shoulder with a big knife and just started plunging it into the policeman. I have never seen anything like that. I just can't believe what I just saw.'

After the incident, Radoslaw Sikorski posted a video to Twitter purporting to show people lying injured in the road on Westminster Bridge.

Mr Sikorski, a senior fellow at Harvard's Centre for European Studies, wrote: 'A car on Westminster Bridge has just mowed down at least 5 people.'

Theresa May's armour-plated car is driven from the scene after she was taken from Parliament by a plain clothes police officer

The press gallery cafeteria was used a first aid post by officers. One man was present with blood on his shirt. Journalists were confined to their offices and were not allowed to leave the area.

Outside Parliament, around two dozen police officers came onto the estate at around 4.20pm following an extensive briefing.

All the officers were wearing gloves and could be about to begin a detailed finger print search.

The dramatic incident comes weeks after it was revealed that UK security services have foiled 13 potential attacks in less than four years, while counter-terrorism units are running more than 500 investigations at any time.

The official threat level for international terrorism has stood at severe, meaning an attack is 'highly likely', for more than two years.

Liberal Democrat transport spokeswoman Baroness Randerson said countries seem to have been 'singled out based on religious beliefs'.

'Of course safety is paramount at all times and we all need to remain vigilant but this ban needs to be explained in detail,' she said.

Politicians describe chaotic scenes in Westminster amid security alert

Politicians described chaotic scenes in Westminster after a security alert meant many had to be evacuated from Parliament. Peer Sheila Noakes wrote: 'Shots in Parliament Square. People running like crazy.'

Conservative MP Grant Shapps tweeted: 'Police response instant. Heard commotion, looked round. Police weapons drawn, 4 shots, police ordered us to hit ground & get back, get back.'

Fellow Tory Michael Fabricant described a similar scene, saying: 'I was walking briskly to a vote when crowds of MPs rushed towards me saying that shots have been fired and shouts of 'get back'.'

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron tweeted shortly after news of the incident broke: 'Currently with a shell-shocked group of MPs at New Scotland Yard having been evacuated following the attack. Police doing an incredible job.'

Many MPs spoke about being locked inside rooms in the Parliament building. Green Party leader Caroline Lucas tweeted: 'Locked in Commons with fellow MPs. Thoughts with innocent people hurt today and thanks as ever to Police & other staff working so hard here.'

Labour's David Lammy wrote: 'Locked in the Commons Chamber but my heart goes out to the police officers, those hit by the car on the bridge and their families. Stay safe.'

How Parliament has beefed up security to protect against a terror attack

Additional Metropolitan Police firearms officers are regularly put on detail around the grounds of the Houses of Parliament in the aftermath of terror attacks.

Following the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris two years ago, armed officers were positioned at the front vehicle gates to the Palace of Westminster, in a change from normal practice.

Concrete blocks have also been installed around the premises of the Houses in a bid to protect the building from a possible attack.

In recent years, MPs have been told to consider fitting their constituency offices with panic buttons and designating a 'safe room' in their homes.

They are also being briefed on the security plans in case of an attack on the Commons.

Following the stabbing to death of Jo Cox, MPs spent almost £640,000 on boosting security.

During the four months after her murder, politicians spent four times on security measures what they had done in the whole previous year.

Spending on MP's office and home security also rocketed after Mrs Cox was shot three times and stabbed outside a constituency surgery meeting.

Last year it was revealed that 130 MPs had requested additional security measures, including bomb-proof letter boxes and reinforced windows.

Members have also been offered classes in self-defence techniques in a bid to ward off would-be attackers.

Speaking after the attack, Will Geddes, CEO of ICP Group said: 'Westminster is an obvious terrorist target so it is very well protected.

'It is surrounded by concrete wallls and there are specially trained police officers who are well prepared for attacks.

'It would appear to me that they have done everything they could in this case.'

Speaking of the challenges of preventing a lone wolf attack, Geddes said: 'It's always going to be a challenge to prevent lone wolf attacks.'

Swords and imitation guns are just some of the items that have been confiscated by police at public entrances to the Houses of Parliament in the past decade
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