Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Attack Near Parliament In London
Reports: Gunfire, injuries as UK police lock down Parliament
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on reports of an incident outside Britain's parliament (all
The Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh suspended its debate on a second independence
referendum after the incident outside the British Parliament in London.
Scottish lawmakers had been planning to vote after two days of debate on First Minister
Nicola Sturgeon's call for another referendum on leaving the United Kingdom.
The debate was suspended after some members said it should be halted out of respect
after a policeman was stabbed and his attacker shot in London.
Sturgeon tweeted that her thoughts were with everyone in Westminster "caught up in
this dreadful incident."
A doctor says a woman has died and about a dozen people are hurt, some with
"catastrophic" injuries, after a vehicle apparently hit pedestrians on Westminster
Bridge, near Parliament.
Colleen Anderson of St Thomas' Hospital says a female pedestrian has died.
Anderson said: "There were people across the bridge. There were some with minor
injuries, some catastrophic. Some had injuries they could walk away from or who
have life-changing injuries."
She said there might be a dozen injured in all.
Poland's former foreign minister, Radek Sikorski, says he was in a taxi leaving
Westminster and was checking his email when he heard something like a car crash,
"something like a car hitting metal sheet."
"I look up and I see that a person is lying on the pavement. I started my camera and I
saw more people lying on the street and on the pavement," Sikorski said on
"People started running up to them. I saw one person who gave no sign of life, another
man was bleeding from his head. In all, I saw five people who were at least
seriously injured," he said.
"The taxi driver immediately called the emergency number. I heard ambulances
within two or three minutes, so the rescue action was really very quick. There is a
hospital near there."
"It all happened so fast that there was no time to get scared," said Sikorski who
posted his video on Twitter.
The U.S. State Department says it is closely monitoring the incident outside
London's Parliament and urged Americans in London to avoid the area.
Spokesman Mark Toner said Wednesday: "We stand ready to assist in any way
the U.K. authorities would find helpful."
He added that the U.S. Embassy in London is closely following the news and stands
ready to help any affected Americans.
He said: "Our hearts go out to those affected."
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."
Lawmaker Adam Holloway told the AP he saw people running and immediately
ran into his offices in Parliament to be with his staff. "A lot of us are locked in
with our staff at the moment," he said.
The White House says U.S. 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."
Trump's spokesman, Sean Spicer, says the U.S. will continue to monitor the situation
and update the president.
Britain's Parliament was on lockdown after — according to officials — an assailant
stabbed an officer then was shot by police.
London Police also said officers were called to an incident on nearby Westminster
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.
The former Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski posted a video on Twitter
that seems to show people lying injured in the road on Westminster Bridge.
Sikorski, a senior fellow at the Harvard Centre for European Studies, says he saw
at least five people lying on the ground after being "mown down" by a car.
Sikorski told the BBC he "heard what I thought what I thought was just a collision and
then I looked through the window of the taxi and someone down, obviously in great distress.
"Then I saw a second person down, and I started filming, then I saw three more
people down, one of them bleeding profusely."
London police say they are treating a gun and knife incident at Britain's Parliament
"as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise."
The Metropolitan Police says in a statement that the incident is ongoing. It is
urging people to stay away from the area.
Officials say a man with a knife attacked a police officer at Parliament and was
shot by officers.
There are also reports of a vehicle hitting pedestrians on nearby Westminster Bridge.
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.
He said, however, there was no information that the incident was terror-related.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to
speak about ongoing security operations.
—By Paisley Dodds.
The leader of Britain's House of Commons says a man attacked a police officer
at Parliament and has been shot by police.
David Lidington says the Parliament complex is in lockdown.
He says there are reports of further violent incidents neaby, and police say they
have been called to a firearms incident on nearby Westminster Bridge.
Witnesses said a vehicle struck several people on the bridge, and photos showed
a car plowed into railings.
The leader of Britain's House of Commons says a man has been shot by police
at Parliament. David Lidington also said there were "reports of further violent
incidents in the vicinity."
London's police said officers had been called to a firearms incident on
Westminster Bridge, near the parliament.
A session of Parliament was suspended after the incident.
Britain's MI5 says it is too early to say if the incident is terror-related.
A session of Britain's House of Commons has been suspended as witnesses
reported hearing sounds like gunfire nearby.
The Commons' speaker suspended the session as police responded to an incident.
Journalists at the Parliament building said they were told to stay in their offices.
The Press Association news agency reported that two people were seen lying
within the grounds of Parliament.