Three attackers drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing revelers nearby on Saturday night, killing at least seven people in what Britain said was the work of Islamist militants engaged in a “new trend” of terrorism.
At least 48 people were injured in the attack, the third to hit Britain in less than three months and occurring days ahead of a snap parliamentary election on Thursday.
Police shot dead the three male assailants in the Borough Market area near the bridge within eight minutes of receiving the first emergency call shortly after 10 p.m. local time.
“We believe we are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face as terrorism breeds terrorism,” Prime Minister Theresa May said in a televised statement on Sunday in front of her Downing Street office, where flags flew at half-mast.
“Perpetrators are inspired to attack not only on the basis of carefully constructed plots … and not even as lone attackers radicalized online, but by copying one another and often using the crudest of means of attack.”
She said the series of attacks represented a perversion of Islam and that Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy needed to be reviewed, adding: “It is time to say enough is enough.”
Most of the main political parties suspended national campaigning on Sunday, but May said campaigning would resume on Monday and that the election would go ahead as planned.
London Bridge is a major transport hub and nearby Borough Market is a fashionable warren of alleyways packed with bars and restaurants that is always bustling on a Saturday night.
The area remained cordoned off and patrolled by armed police and counter-terrorism officers on Sunday, with train stations closed. Forensic investigators could be seen working on the bridge, where buses and taxis stood abandoned.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attack to hit Britain and Europe.