Four people have died in a terror attack near the U.K.’s Houses of Parliament in London, in which an assailant stabbed a police officer and a car mowed down pedestrians.
The incident on Wednesday afternoon local time also left several injured, some severely, according to media reports.
“The senior national coordinator has declared this a terrorism incident, and although we remain open -minded to the motive, a full counter-terrorism investigation is already underway,” Metropolitan Police Commander B.J. Harrington said at a press conference Wednesday.
Four people have died in the incident, including one police officer, and 20 injured, the Met said in a press update later in the afternoon.
Police treat car attack near U.K. parliament as terrorism
A car slammed into pedestrians near the U.K. Parliament, leaving at least one person dead and a dozen injured. Police were treating the incident as terrorism.
Early Wednesday afternoon local time, a car drove directly toward pedestrians on nearby Westminster Bridge, leaving dozens injured, reports said.
Police said they received word of an incident on the bridge at around 2:40 p.m. local time
A car on Westminster Bridge has just mowed down at least 5 people. pic.twitter.com/tdCR9I0NgJ
— Radosław Sikorski (@sikorskiradek) March 22, 2017
In addition, a man said to have been wielding a knife or machete stabbed a police officer on duty at the gates of the Houses of Parliament. The police officer has died, deputy speaker of the House of Commons said, according to a Tweet by Barbara Keeley, a member of parliament.
At around the same time as the stabbing, lawmakers heard loud bangs outside building, the BBC reported.
David Lidington, the leader of the House of Commons told lawmakers inside the building that an “alleged assailant was shot by armed police.” He added that an air ambulance was at the scene and that there had been “reports of further violent incidents.”
Police appear to be tackling a man after the attack in one journalist’s post to Twitter
Shaky video of commotion after Parliament shooting. pic.twitter.com/ofGZwcMgaA
— Patrick Daly (@thepatrickdaly) March 22, 2017
The London terror incident took place one year after Brussels was hit by three coordinated suicide bombings that left 32 victims and three attackers dead.
Commons stayed calm
Live video footage from inside the House of Commons showed members of parliament keeping calm immediately after the attack.
Lidington confirmed that parliamentary proceedings had been suspended while police investigated. “The clear advice of the police is that parliament should remain under suspension and the Commons remain in lockdown,” he said.
Politico shared a map showing what appears to have occurred, according to initial reports:
— Politico (@pontificato) March 22, 2017
A spokesman for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said she was safe, reports said. She was in the voting lobby Wednesday afternoon when the incident took place. She was escorted out of Parliament by armed guards and taken to an undisclosed location away from Downing Street, The Daily Mail reported.
Security has been ramped at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, BBC News reported. Lawmakers there were debating on whether Scotland should hold a second referendum on breaking away from the U.K., but that debate has been halted after the London attack.
Extra security at the Scottish Parliament and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Business continues as usual. pic.twitter.com/kzMerBnbN6
— BBC Andrew Kerr (@BBCandrewkerr) March 22, 2017
A number of tourist sites have been closed, including The London Eye. People who were riding the popular ferris wheel ride on the south side of the Thames River have been posting pictures and videos to social media.
BREAKING: PEOPLE ARE TRAPPED IN THE PODS ON THE LONDON EYE pic.twitter.com/Qiq8UcwyrB
— Rob S (@RobPulseNews) March 22, 2017
The Westminster station on the London Underground, also known as the Tube, has been closed, and police have advised commuters to avoid a number of other stations.