Is The London Bridge Incident Related To Ariana Grande's Manchester Concert? Details Are Scarce
Less than two weeks after a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured dozens more at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena — which was later linked to the terror group ISIS — police responded to multiple "serious" incidents in London on Saturday evening. Although details are scarce right now and authorities have not been able to confirm whether the London Bridge incident is related to the Ariana Grande concert attack in Manchester from May, the country is on high alert for developments as police reported there is more than one fatality.
UPDATE: The London Bridge attack has since been declared a terrorist incident, according to the Associated Press. London Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick on Sunday confirmed that the death toll in the London Bridge attack had been raised to seven, not including three of the attackers, with at least 48 others injured. Dick added that the remaining injured had been transported "to five hospitals across London." Some were in critical condition. The three attackers "were fatally shot by officers within eight minutes of the first emergency call," according to The Washington Post. An additional 12 people have also been arrested in connection with the attack.
The nearby Vauxhall stabbing was later declared not to be part of the London Bridge attack, but a separate incident.
While there is a fear this was also terror-related, authorities have not said yet what caused the three incidents in London Bridge, Borough Market, and Vauxhall — all of which are about a three-hour drive from Manchester.
According to The Telegraph, today's incident appears to be a "series of coordinated terror attacks" and a witness described the scene as "Westminster all over again," referring to an attack in March when a "a knife-wielding assailant" drove an SUV into a crowd on the sidewalk along Westminster Bridge in London, killing at least four people and injuring about 40 others, according to The New York Times.
Police first responded to reports that a white van plowed into a large group of pedestrians at the landmark in central London. BBC reporter Holly Jones, who was on the bridge at the time of the incident, said the alleged driver was "probably traveling at about 50 miles an hour" and later reported seeing a man being arrested by police.
Shortly after, police responded to a second incident at Borough Market and a third in Vauxhall, Scotland Yard.
"Two men entered a restaurant at Borough Market, just south of London Bridge, and stabbed two people inside," a witness told CNN.
Another witness told the BBC that after the van crashed into the pedestrians, men got out of the car "with long blades, 12 inches long and went randomly along Borough High Street stabbing people at random."
Although no terror groups have claimed responsibility for the incidents in central London, Prime Minister Theresa May says it is being treated as a "potential act of terrorism," the BBC reported.
Like the attack in Manchester on May 22 — the deadliest since the 7/7 London Underground bombings in 2005 — officers from the counterterrorism special forces were reportedly on the scene of the multiple incidents across London as well.
Richard Walton from The Washington Post wrote that after the Manchester suicide bombing, more attacks in the United Kingdom were likely as terror groups "will test the country's counterterrorism measures."
Whatever developments unfold or details get uncovered in the coming hours and days, England and the rest of the world will remain on edge until all concerns can definitively be answered.