Two dead, others injured in UK parliament 'terrorist incident'

LONDON: An assailant stabbed a policeman and was shot by police just outside Britain's parliament building in London on Wednesday in what police described as a "terrorist incident".

Amid confusing scenes, it appeared the incident may have unfolded in several locations, including on the nearby Westminster bridge where eyewitnesses said a car had crashed into pedestrians.

Two people died in the incident, according to Sky News, but the total number of casualties was unclear.

"Officers - including firearms officers - remain on the scene and we are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise," London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

The incident took place on the first anniversary of attacks by Islamist militants that killed 32 people in Brussels.

Reuters reporters inside the parliament building heard loud bangs and shortly afterwards saw two people lying on the ground in a courtyard just outside, within the perimeter of the parliamentary estate.

A Reuters photographer said he saw at least a dozen people injured on Westminster Bridge, next to parliament.

His photographs showed people lying on the ground, some of them bleeding heavily and one apparently under a bus.

"I just saw a car go out of control, and just go into pedestrians on the bridge," a woman who gave her name as Bernadette told Sky News. She was on a tour bus on the bridge at the time.

"As we were going across the bridge, we saw people lying on the floor, they were obviously injured. I saw about 10 people maybe. And then the emergency services started to arrive. Everyone was just running everywhere."

"HORRIBLE TO WATCH"

Some people suffered catastrophic injuries in the incident, British news agency the Press Association reported, citing a doctor at St Thomas's Hospital which is located directly across the River Thames from parliament.

Officials said an assailant had stabbed a policeman and then been shot.


Three French schoolchildren hurt in London attack

PARIS/RENNES: Three French schoolchildren were hurt in the attack, French officials said.

The three students from the Concarneau Lycee in Brittany, western France, were on a school trip there, a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement. The statement did not say how serious the injuries were.

A total of 90 students from the school were in London, about a dozen of which were in the area of the attack, an official at the school told Reuters.

"As the center of London was hit by a cowardly attack, France assures the British people of its solidarity," the foreign ministry statement said, adding that French authorities were in contact with their British counterparts.

A report in Le Telegramme newspaper cited a fellow students who was at the scene of what British police have described as a terrorist incident, saying the three were hit by a car that was involved whilst walking on Westminster Bridge. One of them landed on the hood of the car, the Telegramme said.

They were aged around 15 or 16, Le Telegramme reported.