London: The three assailants shot dead by police after they stabbed several people in the Borough Market area of London were wearing fake suicide vests, police said on Sunday.
“The suspects were wearing what looked like explosive vests but these were later established to be hoaxes,” Britain’s head of counter-terrorism Mark Rowley said.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley statment on #LondonBridge & #BoroughMarket incidents https://t.co/V51g4lp9Y3 pic.twitter.com/7yl3xrsZil
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) June 4, 2017
At least seven people were reported killed in the Borough Market stabbing and a truck attack on London Bridge — two incidents that were being treated as terror attacks.
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The attacks come days ahead of a June 8 election and less than two weeks after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a pop concert by US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester in northern England. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The Islamic State earlier on Saturday sent out a call on instant messaging service Telegram urging its followers to launch attacks with trucks, knives and guns against “Crusaders” during the Muslim holy month of Ramzan. Similar attacks, in Berlin, Nice, Brussels and Paris, have been carried out by militants over the past couple of years.
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The BBC showed a photograph of two possible London attackers shot by police, one of whom had canisters strapped to his body. Hours after the attack the area remained sealed off.
The London ambulance service said at least 20 people had been taken to six hospitals across the city. Three major London hospitals said that they were on lockdown to keep patients and staff safe.
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Streets around London Bridge and Borough Market, fashionable districts packed with bars and restaurants, would have been busy with people on a Saturday night out. BBC showed dozens of people, evidently caught up in the attack, being escorted through a police cordon with their hands on their heads.
The incident bore similarities to a March attack on Westminster Bridge, west of London Bridge, in which a man killed five people after driving into a crowd of pedestrians before stabbing a police officer in the grounds of parliament.
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The Manchester bombing on May 22 was the deadliest attack in Britain since July 2005, when four British Muslim suicide bombers killed 52 people in coordinated attacks on London’s transport network.