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UK terror attack on Parliament injures three, police say

The Palace of Westminster in London, the meeting place of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. (Mike Gimelfarb/Wikimedia Commons)
August 14, 2018

On a busy Tuesday morning in London, police flooded the city after a car crashed outside of Parliament.

At approximately 7:37 a.m., a car slammed through pedestrians and cyclists outside the Houses of Parliament, injuring at least three victims, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Officials suspect it is another incident using a vehicle as a weapon.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of the Metropolitan Police, who is also in charge of counterterrorism efforts in the U.K., told reporters: “Given that this appears to be a deliberate act, the method and this being an iconic site, we are treating it as a terrorist incident.”

Witnesses observed a silver Ford Fiesta car moving at high speeds when it plowed into pedestrians and cyclists, then collided with barriers outside of Parliament.

Witness Ewelina Ochab told AP reporters: “The car drove at speed into the barriers outside the House of Lords. There was a loud bang from the collision and a bit of smoke. The driver did not get out. The guards started screaming to people to move away.”

Police removed the driver from the vehicle and arrested him, then barricaded the streets around the Parliament area. The subway station nearby was also closed as police investigated.

Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted: “My thoughts are with those injured in the incident in Westminster and my thanks to the emergency services for their immediate and courageous response.”

The suspect, a man said to be in his late 20s, was arrested on suspected terrorism activities. He was said to be uncooperative as officials attempt to identify him.

He is reported as the sole suspect in the incident, and police determined that the incident is contained without further threat to the city.

Basu told reporters, “we don’t believe this individual was known” to law enforcement or intelligence officials.

Another witness, Jason Williams, told reporters: “It didn’t look like an accident. How do you do that by accident?”

Two victims were transported to local hospitals for treatment, while the third was treated at the scene. One of the victims is said to be still in the hospital through the afternoon, but their injuries are not life-threatening.

President Trump also tweeted on the incident: “Another terrorist attack in London…These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!”

Last year, a man crashed a car into crowds of people on Westminster Bridge, killing four. He left his car, then fatally stabbed a police officer before police fatally shot him.

Just months later, a van crashed into pedestrians on London Bridge. Three men inside left the vehicle and attacked citizens attending a nearby market. The attack killed eight and injured 48.

Yet another attack in 2017 involved a man driving a van into worshippers exiting a mosque in North London. One man was killed, and eight others injured.

Officials have determined the terrorist threat level in Britain is “severe.” Given the history of attacks, they determine the possibility of future attacks is highly likely.