On Sunday, Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, called for a stronger response against Islamist extremism after a hired van was rammed by three attackers into pedestrians on London Bridge and others were stabbed nearby, taking the lives of seven people and injuring 48. This is the third attack to be launched in Britain in the last three months and was conducted just five days before a parliamentary election. May announced that the voting on Thursday would not be delayed. Standing outsider her Downing Street office where the flags flew at half-mast, the Conservative leader said that ‘Enough is Enough’.
She said that this wasn’t the time to let things go on as they were and pretend that nothing had happened. The PM called for a stronger strategy for counter-terrorism, which would include agreements for regulating cyberspace and longer jail sentence for some offences. Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minster said in a statement that one Canadian national was also killed in the incident. Names of the dead were not given out. Australian and French authorities said that national from their countries had been wounded. Three mail assailants were shot dead by the police near the London Bridge in the Borough Market.
This counter attack occurred within eight minutes of the first emergency call received shortly after 10 p.m. The head of counter-terrorism police, Mark Rowley said that about 50 bullets had been fired by eight officers for stopping the attackers. They had appeared to be suicide bombers as they were wearing vests, but those turned out to be fake ones. He said that the condition was critical for the officer as they had to deal with three armed men who appeared to be wearing suicide belts and had already killed and attacked people. Rowley further added that a man had been wounded in the incident by the gunshots, but was in non-critical condition.
The force said that 12 people had been arrested by the London police in the Barking district of east London who were connected with the attack and the raids were still ongoing. It was only two weeks ago that 22 children and adults had been killed by a suicide bomber in Manchester at a concert of U.S. singer Ariana Grande. An attack similar to the one carried out on Saturday was also conducted in March when a man had driven into pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge in London and a policeman had been stabbed.
According to Theresa May, there was no connection between the attacks in terms of execution and planning, but she said that they were inspired by the evil and single ideology of Islamist extremism, which is a perversion of the truth and Islam itself. She added that this ideology had to be dealt with at home and abroad and asserted that big internet companies and the internet provided the space where this kind of extremism is bred. After the attack in Manchester, Britain had raised its threat level to ‘critical’, but had brought it back down to ‘severe’.