British police forensics officers work near a grey vehicle that crashed into the railings of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London on March 22, 2017, in the aftermath of a terror incident. At least three people were killed and 20 injured in a “terrorist” attack in the heart of London Wednesday when a man mowed down pedestrians on a bridge, then stabbed a police officer outside parliament before being shot dead. Police guarding the iconic House of Commons building shot the man but several people were left with “catastrophic” injuries on Westminster Bridge, a busy traffic junction popular with tourists with views of Big Ben. PHOTO: DANIEL SORABJI / AFP
A police officer was among three killed Wednesday in a suspected terrorist attack outside Britain’s parliament by an assailant who was then shot dead by armed police, Britain’s top anti-terror officer said.
Mark Rowley said the two other victims died on Westminster Bridge in London after the attacker mowed down pedestrians in a car, leaving at least 20 people injured in total.
“Sadly I can confirm that now four people have died,” the Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner told reporters outside Scotland Yard police headquarters.
“That includes the police officer who was protecting parliament and one man who we believe to be the attacker, who was shot by a police firearms officer.
“We have declared this as a terrorist incident and the counter-terrorism command are carrying out a full-scale investigation into the attacks.”
He said the assault began when a car was driven over Westminster Bridge next to the Houses of Parliament, hitting and injuring several members of the public, including three police officers returning from a ceremony.
“The car then crashed near to parliament and at least one man, armed with a knife, continued the attack and tried to enter parliament,” Rowley said.
He said the police implemented “well-rehearsed plans… for a marauding terrorist attack” and parliament was put into “lockdown”.
Rowley said a “massive operation” was now under way but refused to go into further details.
“We currently believe there was only one attacker,” he said.
“This was a day we’ve planned for but hoped would never happen. Sadly it is now a reality,” Rowley added.