Six people have died and three terrorists have been shot dead by armed police after they went on a horrific knife rampage in central London last night.
The men, described as being ‘of Mediterranean origin’, mowed down up to 20 revellers with a white van hurtling across London Bridge at 50mph on Saturday.
Attackers then began ‘randomly stabbing’ revellers with 12-inch hunting knives in the nearby Borough Market area of bars and restaurants in what authorities described as terrorist incidents. One man was reportedly stabbed five times in the chest.
Witnesses said the gang, with metal canisters strapped to their chests, smashed pub windows and cut the throats of drinkers, while a ‘dark-skinned’ man in a red tracksuit ‘calmly’ stabbed a man three times.
Three male suspects were shot and killed by armed police in Borough Market within eight minutes of the first call. The attackers were wearing suicide vests, which turned out to be a ‘hoax’, police said.
Armed police rushed to the scene where shots were heard and authorities urged panicked Londoners on Twitter to ‘run, hide, tell’ if they were caught in the ‘utter chaos’.
50 armed police entered Monument station with police dogs and bystanders were told to run. Bank and Monument tube stations have been closed. There are also unconfirmed reports of gunfire on Southwark Street.
A gang of five terrorists wearing stab-proof vests drove a B&Q van into pedestrians at 50mph on London Bridge before attacking revellers with hunting knives.
Up to seven people were feared dead and 20 hurt in the 10pm attack – amid a second incident at nearby Borough Market which armed police are responding to.
Two explosions have been heard outside The Sun offices in London Bridge at 1:23am and 1:25am.
Witness Erick Siguenza told BBC News that one of the gang screamed “This is for Allah” as he went on his stabbing rampage.
Staff at a packed pub in London Bridge locked the doors as the gang tried to smash their way in. Witnesses saw one man stabbed in the chest five times.
The gang had metal canisters strapped to their chests and two were gunned down – believe killed – by armed police, witnesses said.
Another three were thought to be still on the run as the police have confirmed that the attacks in London Bridge and Borough Market are “terror incidents.”
One bystander is believed to have been shot in the head by crossfire.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed a third incident in the Vauxhall area, after tweeting “you must run, hide and tell,” which later turned out to be an unrelated stabbing.
Fifty armed police have stormed Monument station with police dogs and have told people to run. The travel hub along with nearby Bank station, both across the river from London Bridge, have been closed.
Prime Minister Theresa May has said the “terrible incident” is being treated as a “potential act of terrorism”.
Paul Clarke filmed the reported stabbing in a restaurant, with police since confiscating his phone for evidence.
He said he heard gunfire unleashed in the restaurant, with a man appearing to be a chef injured.
He said: “I saw three people coming in.
“I don’t know what he had in his hand, it looked like a big long weapon.
“There was a man, one of the kitchen staff, on the floor, and the man was doing a stabbing motion.
“I just thought, we’ve got to get out of here.”
He said he and his friends then ran from the scene.
Alex Shellum, a witness at Mudlark pub under London Bridge, described a horrifying attack in which a woman had her throat slit.
He said: “At around 10pm an injured woman came into the pub seeking assistance.
“She was bleeding heavily from the neck – it appeared that her throat had been cut.
“People sought to stem the bleeding and the pub was closed.
Shots have been fired in the London Bridge area as armed cops were believed to have shot dead two of the men, with a search underway for the third man.
Terrified people have fled while one officer is said to have been “seriously injured” as “multiple” casualties have been confirmed by British Transport Police.
Eye witnesses confirm that several bodies are “strewn on the ground” and people are receiving CPR after being randomly stabbed by “two to three men armed 12 inch long knives.”
A bomb squad and a police helicopter have reportedly arrived on the scene.
The walked wounded are being taken by bus to Liverpool Street station, reports the BBC.
Several gun shots have been fired amid the ensuing chaos.
A Sun journalist at the scene in London Bridge tweeted that he saw one man being led away by police in cuffs.
The white van which reportedly crashed into pedestrians was said to be travelling at around 50mph.
A cab driver told The Sun that he was stuck at traffic lights when he saw a transit van smash into London Bridge.
He heard gunshots and says a police was hurt.
In the Wheatsheaf pub in Borough Market, three men with big hunting knives smashed the glass windows to target drinkers.
One reveller was stabbed five times, while it is believed another took a bullet to the head.
A 40-year-old witness told The Sun: “I was in the Wheatsheaf pub. The doors were locked by the bar staff. Three men with big hunting knives were outside.
“They were trying to get in the pub but the doors were locked. They were smashing the windows.
“I saw at least one man stabbed in the chest about five times.
“Armed police turned up, I saw them shoot at least two of the guys in front of me.
“They had four to five silver canisters attached to themselves and police just opened fire.
“They fired at least 20 times. One of the guys in the pub took a bullet in the head. I think he’s dead.”
There was another casualty in the Thames, according to a source.
SOURCE: Mark Hodge and Neal Baker