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UK Parliament attack: Guy with big knife started plunging it into policeman, says eyewitness

One woman died and the British police shot a suspected attacker near the British Parliament on Wednesday after an officer was stabbed in what was described as a “terrorist” incident.

world Updated: Mar 22, 2017 23:14 IST
Agencies
Armed police walk past emergency services attending to injured people on the floor outside the Houses of Parliament, London, Wednesday, March 22, 2017.
Armed police walk past emergency services attending to injured people on the floor outside the Houses of Parliament, London, Wednesday, March 22, 2017. (AP)

A vehicle mowed down pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, killing at least one woman and leaving others with injuries described as catastrophic.

Around the same time Wednesday, a knife-wielding attacker stabbed a police officer and was shot on the grounds outside Britain’s Parliament, sending the compound into lockdown. Authorities said they were treating the attacks as a terrorist incident.

Here are some eyewitness accounts:

‘Guy with big knife started plunging it into policeman’

Witness Rick Longley told the Press Association that he saw a man stab a policeman outside Britain’s Parliament.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

‘The man was on the floor with blood’

Another eyewitness, Jayne Wilkinson, told Press Association she had seen the drama unfold.

“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.”\

‘Police ordered us to hit ground a nd get back, get back’

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.

‘They shot him two or three times and he fell’

Daily Mail journalist Quentin Letts said he saw a man in black attack a police officer outside Parliament before being shot two or three times as he tried to storm into the House of Commons.

“He had something in his hand, it looked like a stick of some sort, and he was challenged by a couple of policemen in yellow jackets,” Letts told the BBC. “And one of the yellow-jacketed policemen fell down and we could see the man in black moving his arm in a way that suggested he was stabbing or striking the yellow-jacketed policeman.”

Lett said the other officer ran to get help and the man in black ran toward the entrance.

“As this attacker was running towards the entrance two plain-clothed guys with guns shouted at him what sounded like a warning, he ignored it and they shot two or three times and he fell,” he said.