Five people were killed and about 40 injured in a terror attack in London that happened on Wednesday. A car ploughed into pedestrians and a suspected Islamist-inspired terrorist stabbed a policeman near Britain’s parliament.
The dead police officer was identified as Keith Palmer, 48, with 15 years of service.
The assailant was shot by the police, according to Reuters. The rest of the four victims include the policeman he stabbed, and three others were among those hit by the car as it sped across Westminster Bridge before crashing into railings just outside the parliament.
Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the attack as "sick and depraved” – "The location of this attack was no accident," she said in a statement. "The terrorist chose to strike at the heart of our capital city, where people of all nationalities, religions and cultures come together to celebrate the values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech."
Any attempt to defeat those values through violence was "doomed to failure", May asserted.
Mark Rowley, Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer, told reporters the attack started when a car was driven over Westminster Bridge, hitting and injuring members of the public and three police officers.
"A car then crashed near to parliament and at least one man, armed with a knife, continued the attack and tried to enter parliament," Rowley said. The police's "fast-paced investigation" was due to them working on the assumption that the attack was "Islamist-related terrorism." He also said that police believed they knew the identity of the attacker but would not provide details at this stage.
It was the deadliest attack in London since four British Islamists killed 52 commuters and themselves in suicide bombings on the city's transport system in July 2005, in London's worst peacetime attack.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said there would be additional police officers on the city streets to keep Londoners and visitors safe. "We stand together in the face of those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life. We always have, and we always will. Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism," he said.
May said parliament would convene as normal on Thursday, in a sign that the attack would not disrupt life in the capital.
[Update] Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) confirmed in a statement on Thursday, March 23, that there are no reports of Singaporeans directly affected or injured in the London attack.
"Singapore strongly condemns the vicious terrorist attack in Westminster, London on March 22 that led to the death and injury of innocent persons, including a police officer who was killed in the line of duty," according to MFA's statement. "We express our deepest condolences to the bereaved families, and wish the injured a speedy recovery."
Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam wrote on Facebook that the attack in front of the British Parliament is "a sombre reminder" that Singaporeans must stay vigilant to "the clear and present terror threat around the world."