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2 Dead, 3 Injured In Terrorist Incident Near London Bridge

Police and emergency services at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London following a police incident, on Friday.
Dominic Lipinski
Police and emergency services at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London following a police incident, on Friday.

Updated midnight ET, Nov. 30

Police said two people were killed in a stabbing near London Bridge on Friday afternoon that authorities are describing as a terrorist incident. Three others were also injured and remained in the hospital as of early Saturday.

Hours after the incident, a similar stabbing attack took place in The Hague, Netherlands, where several were injured. It was not immediately clear if the two attacks were related.

London Metropolitan Police Chief Cressida Dick told journalists that police fatally shot a suspect, who had been wearing a hoax bomb. Authorities were working at "full tilt" to determine if anyone else was involved in the attack, she said.

"Fighting terrorism takes effort and determination from all of us," Dick said. "We must emerge stronger still from the tragedy."

Neil Basu, assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, identified the suspect who was shot and killed as Usman Khan, 28.

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"This individual was known to authorities, having been convicted in 2012 for terrorism offences. He was released from prison in December 2018," Basu said in a statement.

Police say the attack began in Fishmonger's Hall at the edge of London bridge at a criminology conference that included ex-convicts, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports. Khan was one of the convicts in attendance, and in the afternoon he suddenly began stabbing people in the hall. Others chased him out onto the street, where police shot him.

Police have not yet publicly identified the victims, other than to say the two who were killed were a man and a woman and that the three who were injured are a man and two women.

The Metropolitan Police saidthey were called to London Bridge at 1:58 p.m. local time on Friday. The area was placed on a lockdown, and London Ambulance Services declaredit a "major incident," saying several crews had been dispatched to the scene.

London Bridge has been the target of terrorism before. On June 3, 2017, seven people were killed and nearly 50 wounded at the site in an attack that began when a van plowed into pedestrians on London Bridge. At least one knife-wielding assailant also reportedly stabbed one of the victims. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson went to No. 10 Downing St. after being informed of Friday's attack.

"Clearly, the Metropolitan Police are continuing their investigations and I can assure you, assure everyone, that anybody involved in this crime and these attacks will be hunted down and will be brought to justice," Johnson said, speaking to reporters.

"[This] country will never be cowed or divided or intimidated by this sort of attack. And our values, British values, will prevail," he said.

London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, spoke to reporters, lauding without elaboration the "breathtaking heroism" in the public's response to the attack.

In a statement, he also wrote: "We must — and we will — stay resolute in our determination to stand strong and united in the face of terror."

White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement that President Trump had been briefed on the attack and was monitoring developments. "The United States strongly condemns all horrific acts of violence on innocent people, and we pledge our full support to our Ally, the United Kingdom," he wrote.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, police in the Hague reported that there was a stabbing incident at Grote Markt, a busy shopping area. According to police, three people were injured. A spokeswoman for Dutch police said it is not yet clear if terrorism was the motive for the attack, according to the AP.

This is a breaking news story. Some things reported by the media will later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene. We will update as the situation develops.

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Selena Simmons-Duffin reports on health policy for NPR.
Nicole Hernandez