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Manhattan’s ‘vehicle-as-weapon’ attack resonates in London

A man ploughed a pickup truck down a crowded bike path near the World Trade Center, killing eight persons and injuring 11 others in the deadliest attack on New York City since 9/11.

world Updated: Nov 01, 2017 21:57 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Police investigate a pickup truck used in an attack in Manhattan in New York.
Police investigate a pickup truck used in an attack in Manhattan in New York.(REUTERS)

The terrorist attack in New York, when a truck ploughed into a cycle track killing eight people, left Londoners with painful memories of two similar incidents at the iconic Westminster and London bridges, in which 13 people were killed over the summer.

After dealing with what is called Britain’s summer of terror that involved five attacks – one in Manchester and four in London – Prime Minister Theresa May quickly reacted to Tuesday’s New York terror attack.

“Appalled by this cowardly attack, my thoughts are with all affected. Together we will defeat the evil of terrorism. UK stands with #NYC,” she tweeted.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “This afternoon the Prime Minister spoke to President Trump to express her condolences regarding yesterday’s terror attack in New York. The Prime Minister said she was deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of life and that her thoughts and prayers remain with all those affected.

“She reiterated that the UK will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States in defeating the evil of terrorism. The two leaders noted the very strong intelligence and security co-operation between our two countries. The Prime Minister and President Trump also discussed the need for an international approach to tackling poisonous terrorist ideology online.”

London mayor Sadiq Khan said the capital stood in grief and solidarity with New York.

Khan, who has been often targeted by US President Donald Trump, said: “London stands in grief and solidarity with the great city of New York tonight after the despicable and cowardly attack in Manhattan. My heart goes out to the victims and their families.”

“New Yorkers are strong and resilient – I know they will not be cowed by this assault on the innocent, and on our shared values of life,” he added.

Britain has been on the second-highest threat level of ‘severe’ from international terrorism, which means terror attacks are likely.

On March 22, attacker Khalid Masood’s marauding car hit pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge near the houses of parliament, killing five people. The bridge, usually bustling with tourists, now has barriers placed along the road.

On June 3, three attackers – Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane, Youssef Zagba – drove their van into pedestrians on the London Bridge, and later emerged to knife others in the area, killing eight and injuring many.