Man murdered in London in suspected extremist terror attack

By AFP
Published: May 23, 2013
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Police forensics officers investigate a crime scene where one man was killed in Woolwich, southeast London May 22, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

Police forensics officers investigate a crime scene where one man was killed in Woolwich, southeast London May 22, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON: A man believed to be a serving British soldier was brutally murdered in broad daylight near a London barracks on Wednesday in what Prime Minister David Cameron said appeared to be a terrorist attack.

Cameron called the attack “appalling” and said, “There are strong indications that it is a terrorist incident.”

Armed police shot and wounded the two suspected attackers.

One broadcaster showed footage of one of the men at the scene carrying a blood-covered knife and meat cleaver saying to the camera: “We swear… we will never stop fighting you.”

The black man, dressed in a grey hooded jacket and black woolly hat, made a number of political statements to bystanders.

“We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” he says in a London accent in the video.

He adds: “I apologise that women have had to witness this today, but in our land our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don’t care about you.”

The government’s emergency response committee was immediately convened.

The attack took place in broad daylight around 200 metres from the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, southeast London, about 15km east of 10 Downing Street.

Cameron, who was to return early from talks with French President Francois Hollande in Paris to deal with the aftermath, called the attack “truly shocking”.

Hollande said at a press conference that the victim was a soldier, but Cameron gave no confirmation.

A local member of parliament said he believed the dead man was a soldier.

Cameron said, “We’ve had this sort of attack before in our country and we never buckle in the face of them.”

Home Secretary Theresa May chaired a meeting of COBRA, the government’s emergency civil contingencies committee.

“It has been confirmed to me that a man has been brutally murdered this afternoon in southeast London,” she said.

“Two other men were shot by armed police and they are currently receiving treatment for their injuries. This is a sickening and barbaric attack.”

Police were called at 2:20 pm (1320 GMT) to reports of one man being assaulted by two others.

“A number of weapons were reportedly being used in the attack, and this included reports of a firearm,” said police commander Simon Letchford.

Local police officers, then firearms officers arrived on the scene where they found a man who was later pronounced dead.

“Two men, who we believe from early reports to have been carrying weapons, were shot by police. They were taken to separate London hospitals, they are receiving treatment for their injuries,” Letchford said.

He said there would be a heightened police presence in the area and urged locals to remain calm.

A white and blue police evidence tent was visible in the street and police tape sealed off the scene. People in forensic suits were also seen.

Eyewitness pictures showed an air ambulance landing in the road and three bodies lying on the ground with dozens of onlookers observing the scene after the police arrived.

Nick Raynsford, the member of parliament for Woolwich and Greenwich, said his understanding after speaking to police and army officers was that the dead man was a soldier.

“We think a serving soldier was the victim,” he said.

“A number of weapons have been seized. They include a gun, various knives, and a machete, apparently.

“The police clearly had to take action in order to try and arrest these individuals.”

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said Queen Elizabeth II — who is due to visit the barracks later this month — was being kept updated.

“The queen is of course concerned by the report of an attack in Woolwich,” he said.

“Her Majesty is being kept informed.”

The spokesperson confirmed the monarch would carry out a planned visit to the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery at the barracks on May 31.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Nadir
    May 23, 2013 - 1:02AM

    UK government should negotiate.

    Recommend

  • Eddie
    May 23, 2013 - 2:13AM

    The police officers who shot those animals should be given a bravery award. Knowing they risk sacrificing their careers for the good of every decent human being in a selfless act of heroism. The poor victim and his family should ask for a referendum on how the British public think these two should be dealt with. Politicians suggest they represent the public. Let’s see them stand up and be counted. Deepest sympathies to the poor victims family….Recommend

  • Rashid
    May 23, 2013 - 2:14AM

    OMG! Again.

    Recommend

  • Final Solution
    May 23, 2013 - 2:33AM

    @ET: “We swear… we will never stop fighting you.”

    The actual quote is ”We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you.”

    Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2329089/Woolwich-attack-Two-men-hack-soldier-wearing-Help-Heroes-T-shirt-death-machetes-suspected-terror-attack.html

    Yet another negative portrayal of Islam and Muslims by fellow Muslims. No condemnation yet from any Mosque in that area. Shame.

    Recommend

  • Shumaiila
    May 23, 2013 - 4:10AM

    We muslims heere have been warned to be careful

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  • May 23, 2013 - 4:44AM

    @Final Solution:

    No condemnation yet from any Mosque in that area. Shame.

    Its only been a few hours, and an expectation of being an on demand apologetic condemnation machine is a bit much. Regardless the MCB have already made a statement on it.

    Recommend

  • Realist
    May 23, 2013 - 9:10AM

    @Final Solution:

    For killing serving British soldier fighting Muslims? How is that a negative portrayal? For once they did not target a civilian

    Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    May 23, 2013 - 3:55PM

    Oh! It’s still a “suspected” terror attack in Pakistan?

    Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    May 23, 2013 - 3:58PM

    @Realist:

    For killing serving British soldier
    fighting Muslims? How is that a
    negative portrayal? For once they did
    not target a civilian

    FYKI, the soldier wasn’t on duty.
    Besides realistically speaking, you are fine with TTP beheading Pakistani soldiers?!

    Recommend

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