UK Parliament terror attack highlights: 4 dead, 20 injured, no Indians among casualties, London on alert

The Palace of Westminster was in lockdown after a car mowed down several pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and an attacker stabbed a cop outside the British Parliament in London.
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood (centre) helps emergency services attend to an injured person outside the Houses of Parliament, on March 22, 2017.(AP Photo)
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood (centre) helps emergency services attend to an injured person outside the Houses of Parliament, on March 22, 2017.(AP Photo)
Updated on Mar 23, 2017 12:47 AM IST
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London | ByAgencies

An attacker stabbed a police officer and was shot by police on the grounds outside Britain’s Parliament, sending the compound into lockdown on Wednesday. Around the same time, a vehicle mowed down pedestrians on nearby Westminster Bridge. Authorities said they were treating the attack as a “terrorist incident until we know otherwise.”

London police confirmed four deaths in the attack, including an assailant, a policeman protecting the parliament and one woman. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

London police said they were called to a firearms incident on Westminster Bridge near the British parliament.

“We were called at approx 2:40 pm to reports of an incident at #Westminster Bridge. Being treated as a firearms incident - police on scene,” the Metropolitan police tweeted.

Meanwhile, Transport for London said the underground station at Westminster has been shut at the request of the police.

The threat level for international terrorism in the UK was listed at severe. Wednesday was the anniversary of suicide bombings in the Brussels airport and subway that killed 32 people.

London’s police commander said a full counter terrorism investigation is underway.

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Here are updates on the incident:

12:23am: British PM Theresa May says thoughts with those killed, injured and their families in “appalling” Westminster terror attack, AFP quotes 10 Downing Street

12:06am: External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj says no Indian casualties in London terror attack, adds that she is in constant touch with Indian High Commission

11:35pm: AFP reports that tourists are stuck on the London Eye following the attack

11:33pm: US president Donald Trump calls UK prime minister Theresa May: White House

11:31pm: Armed police patrols to be present throughout London

11:30pm: Head of counter terrorism at London’s Metropolitan Police, Mark Rowley, says they believe there was only one attacker

11:25pm: Rowley confirms four deaths, including one assailant and one policeman. Also confirm 20 injured

11:14pm: BBC reports one policeman is dead

11:13pm: Police search for one more person believed to have been part of the attack.

10:58pm: The London Ambulance Service said on Wednesday it had treated at least 10 people on Westminster Bridge, near Britain’s parliament building, after an attack police have described as a terrorist incident.

10:50pm: India condemns the Westminster terrorist incident and condoles loss of life. An MEA statement on Twitter said, “No place in democracies & civilised societies for terrorism”.

10:45pm: Three French citizens injured in London attack, according to French diplomatic source: Reuters

10:40pm: British port officials say they pulled a woman from the Thames River following the incident on Westminster Bridge. The Port of London Authority says a female member of the public was recovered from the river, injured but alive.

10:34pm: Police say there are an unspecified number of casualties, including police officers

10:23pm: British prime minister Theresa May to chair emergency meeting: Reuters quoting Sky News

10:18pm: London police commander says a full counter-terrorism investigation is underway

10:01pm: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan issues statement. Says “an urgent investigation is underway”.

“My thoughts are with those affected and their families... I would like to express my thanks to the police and emergency service who work hard to keep us safe.”

9:50pm: Metropolitan police say officers remain on scene in Westminster. Ask people to call their contact their lines only for emergencies. Road closures in place around Westminster palace.

9:47pm: Scottish Parliament to increase its security in light of London attack, says no intelligence to suggest specific threat to Scotland: Reuters.

9:46pm: One woman killed, some ‘catastrophic’ injuries in UK parliament attack: Reports.

9:36pm: Scottish Parliament suspends debate on second independence referendum following attack outside UK Parliament.

9:28pm: US state department says it is closely following the “concerning situation” outside UK Parliament.

9:21pm: BBC reports crowds being moved out of Parliament Square. Quotes policeman saying suspect vehicle outside UK Parliament.

9:20pm: The White House says President Donald Trump has been briefed on a gun and knife incident at Britain’s Parliament in London.

Trump himself said during a brief appearance Wednesday before reporters at the White House that he was just getting the news. He called it “big news.”

9:19pm: British lawmaker Grant Shapps said on Twitter that he was walking through the cloisters of the House of Commons to vote when he heard four gunshots. Police told lawmakers to get down on the ground and crawl to cover.

“Police response instant. Heard commotion, looked round. Police weapons drawn, 4 shots, police ordered us to hit ground & get back, get back,” he said.

9:13pm: According to a UK security source, motivation of incident outside British parliament still unclear-Reuters

9:06pm: We are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise, tweets Metropolitan Police.

9:04pm: A European security official says there was increased chatter on jihadi networks Tuesday following the UK’s adoption of an electronics ban aboard flights from certain mostly Muslim countries, reports AP.

He said, however, there was no information that the incident was terror-related.

8:57pm: David Lidington, leader of House of Commons, says there are reports of further violent incidents neaby.

Westminster is the area of central London on the north bank of the Thames river that is home to some of London’s most historic buildings, including the Palace of Westminster or the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral. Whitehall, a street connecting to Parliament Square, is home to key ministries, including the defence ministry and cabinet office.

8:52pm: More armed police enter UK parliament, some carrying shields - Reuters witness.

8:49pm: An assailant who stabbed a policeman inside the perimeter of Britain’s parliament was shot by police, David Lidington, the leader of the House of Commons, told parliament.

“The alleged assailant was shot by armed police, an ambulance is currently attending the scene to remove the casualties,” he said.

8:45pm: : UK Prime Minister Theresa May is safe after attack in parliament, says spokesman: Reuters

8:43pm: The leader of Britain’s House of Commons says a man has been shot by police at Parliament. David Liddington also said there were “reports of further violent incidents in the vicinity.”: AP

8:39pm: Reuters photographs show two people lying on Westminster Bridge, bleeding heavily.

8.35pm: An air ambulance has landed at Parliament Square at the end of Westminster Bridge.

8.34pm: A parliamentary clerk tells Reuters two people have been shot, but there is no official confirmation from the police.

8.30pm: “We were called at approx 2:40 pm to reports of an incident at #Westminster Bridge. Being treated as a firearms incident - police on scene,” the Metropolitan police said on Twitter.

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