British police shot a suspected attacker outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Wednesday after an officer was stabbed in what police said was a “terrorist” incident.
The building in the heart of the British capital was immediately sealed off and MPs and staff ordered to remain inside.
أصيب شرطي بعد طعنه في الظهر بسكين، قرب البرلمان البريطاني، قبل أن تقتل الشرطة المهاجم، مساء الأربعاء.
وفي حادث متصل، أصيب نحو 12 شخصاً دهساً قرب جسر ويستمنستر القريب من مكان الطعن.
David Lidington, the leader of parliament’s lower House of Commons who is responsible for arranging government business, told MPs: “What I am able to say to the house is there has been a serious incident.
“It seems that a police officer has been stabbed, that the alleged assailant was shot by armed police.
كما ذكر شهود عيان وجود مروحيات إسعاف خارج مقر البرلمان. وتم إغلاق محطة ويستمنستر للأنفاق بطلب من الشرطة.
وأعلن نائب رئيس البرلمان تعليق العمل في البرلمان بعد إطلاق النار.
ونصحت الشرطة البريطانية بتجنب مناطق البرلمان وحتى شارع فيكتوريا، معتبرة أن"حادثة البرلمان عمل إرهابي" حتى يثبت العكس.
وأخلت قوات الأمن محيط البرلمان بسبب سيارة مشبوهة.
إلى ذلك، قال الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، على تويتر إنه "تم إبلاغي بالموقف في لندن".
“There are also reports of further violent incidents in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster,” he said.
Injured people are assisted after an incident on Westminster Bridge in London, March 22, 2017
He said he could not go into further details until there was confirmation from the police and security authorities.
Prime Minister Theresa May is safe, a statement from her Downing Street office said, and she was seen getting into a car and being driven away from parliament.
It is not clear exactly what happened or how many people were injured, however a Reuters reporter inside the building said medical staff were treating two people inside the gates of the parliamentary estate.
While at least four people were lying on the ground, some bleeding heavily and apparently unconscious near the parliament.
One of the photographs showed a body lying under the wheels of a London bus.
Lidington said an air ambulance was at the scene to take away casualties.
TV pictures showed traffic halted on the nearby Westminster Bridge and emergency vehicles swarming around. The busy bridge was completely shut off to traffic.
Armed police swarmed to the area which was quickly sealed off to the public.
The incident came on the same day that Belgium was marking a year since its most deadly attack, when 32 people were killed in suicide bombings at Brussels Airport and a metro station.
In July 2005, four British suicide bombers inspired by al-Qaeda attacked London’s transport system during rush hour, killing 52 people.
Two weeks later, there was an attempt to carry out a second wave of attacks.
A spokesman for the House of Commons told AFP:”We can confirm that the sitting has been suspended in the Commons at the moment. We are aware of a security incident that has taken place.”
London’s Metropolitan Police said on Twitter: “We were called at approx 2:40 pm to reports of an incident at Westminster Bridge. Being treated as a firearms incident - police on the scene.
Paramedics treat an inured person after an incident on Westminster Bridge in London, March 22, 2017.
“Officers - including firearms officers - are on scene and dealing with the incident.”
A staff member in parliament, who did not want to be named, told AFP: “I definitely heard shots. I saw someone in dark clothing go down.”
Westminster station on the London Underground train network, which is opposite the Houses of Parliament, was closed over to the incident.