Armed British police locked down London Bridge late on Saturday after a vehicle slammed into pedestrians and stabbing attacks were reported nearby in what appeared to be a coordinated attack.
London’s Metropolitan Police said at least six people were killed, in addition to three attackers, describing the events at London Bridge and Borough Market as “terrorist incidents”.
“Our current belief is that there were three attackers, but this is still early on, so we still have some inquiries to work on to be completely sure about that,” said assistant commissioner Mark Rowley.
“This is a protracted situation, we’re still getting to the bottom of exactly what is going on, the exact number of casualties. At one stage we suspected explosives to be involved, that’s now been ruled out.”
Al Jazeera’s Yao Chin, reporting from London, said witnesses saw a white van ram into pedestrians hitting several people before coming to a halt”.
“Another witness said three men got out with long blades and randomly started stabbing people along Borough High Street. Other witnesses have also mentioned seeing knife victims,” he said.
The London Ambulance Service said it had taken at least 20 people to six hospitals across the city, and had treated a number of people at the scene for less serious injuries.
Police said in a statement that officers “responded to reports of a vehicle in collision with pedestrians on London Bridge” and then “to reports of stabbings in Borough Market,” a busy area of restaurants and bars at the south end of the bridge.
“Armed officers responded and shots have been fired,” the statement said.
Police ruled a third incident – a stabbing in London’s Vauxhall area initially thought to be linked to the other two scenes – to be unrelated.