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London police said Sunday six civilians were killed in addition to three assailants in the attacks on and near the London Bridge.
Police said a van went crashing into pedestrians late Saturday night on the London Bridge and then at least three assailants started to stab pedestrians.
Police said the assailants were shot and killed. They added that the attackers looked like to be wearing explosive vests, but they turned out to be hoaxes.
At least 20 others were injured, police said.
Video broadcast on British TV showed a man on the ground who appeared to have canisters strapped to him. In addition, police conducted a series of controlled explosions in the area, according to reporters there.
The white van careened off the road before striking several people on the busy bridge around 10 p.m. local time. Witnesses said three men burst out of the van and attacked people with knives; some victims appeared to have their throats slit. Gunfire erupted at the bridge, though witnesses said it could have come from police.
One witness at Borough Market, a nightlife destination near the bridge, told Britain’s Press Association she was in a restaurant when the attackers men entered, then “stabbed someone in the face and someone in the stomach.” She continued, “One of them had a big knife, then he came in and walked around the restaurant, I guess they just kind of stabbed anyone that they saw and knocked things on the ground and then we just hid.”
A witness identified only as Ben told the BBC: “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. He added, “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.”
Witnesses told Sky News and the BBC that the attackers shouted “This is for Allah.”
The attacks came just over two months after the car-and-knife attack at British Parliament and less than two weeks after the suicide bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester that killed 22 people. Britain just recently lowered its official terror threat from “critical.”
The threats targeting Europe have been among the worst that American intelligence officials have seen in a decade, a U.S. government official told Fox News. Both London Mayor Sadiq Khan and U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert described the attacks as “cowardly.”
Video from the Borough Market area showed officers with guns bursting into nearby bars and ordering people to get down on the floor. Frightened onlookers around the bridge walked away with their hands on their heads. The Royal Naval Lifeboat Institution was helping with evacuations.
Less than two hours after the bridge attack, police warned they were responding to an “incident” in the Vauxhall area, more than a mile away, but confirmed early Sunday it was an unrelated stabbing.
Prime Minister Theresa May and President Trump were briefed with updates.
The prime minister is set to lead a meeting of the government emergency response committee Sunday, British officials added. President Trump tweeted: “Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U. K., we will be there – WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!”
“This was a deliberate and cowardly attack on innocent Londoners and visitors to our city enjoying their Saturday night,” Khan said. “I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. There is no justification whatsoever for such barbaric acts.”
The United States condemns the cowardly attacks targeting innocent civilians in London this evening,” Nauert told reporters. “The United States stands ready to provide any assistance authorities in the United Kingdom may request.”
Speaking to Fox News from London, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said the latest attacks mark the fourth or fifth time he’s had to call his British counterpart in just four months on the job because of “terrible events like this.”
“At this time, we have no information to indicate a specific, credible terror threat in the United States,” DHS officials told Fox News.
“We’re monitoring the situation in London and we’re in touch with British authorities,” New York Police Department spokesman J. Peter Donald said.
Transportation officials said the busy London Bridge station has been closed at the request of police; two additional stations also were closed.