Woolwich machete attack leaves man dead
A man has been killed in a machete attack and two suspects shot and wounded by police in Woolwich, south-east London.
The Met Police said a murder inquiry was being led by its Counter Terrorism Command. Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK would “never buckle” in the face of terror attacks.
Footage has emerged showing a man wielding a bloodied meat cleaver and making political statements.
Police confirmed two men had been arrested in connection with the murder.
There are unconfirmed reports that the dead man was a soldier.
Both French President Francois Hollande and MP Nick Raynsford said the dead man had been a soldier at Woolwich barracks.
The footage shown on the ITV website shows a man, speaking to the camera, saying: “We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
He added: “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.”
In developments since the attack, in John Wilson Street, the A205, at 14:20 BST:
- Both shot men were taken to hospital, one by air ambulance
- One of the men is in a serious condition, the other is also being treated for injuries
- A crowd of 100 – including members of the English Defence League – gathered in Woolwich town centre and were met with a heavy police presence including officers wearing riot gear
- The Daily Telegraph has spoken to a woman it says was pictured confronting one of the men; cub scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett said she tried to persuade him to hand over his weapons
- Mr Cameron, who had been planning to stay in Paris overnight after meeting the French president, has returned to Downing Street
- In a joint press conference, Mr Hollande said he wanted to express his solidarity with the UK after the “murder of a British soldier”, but Mr Cameron did not confirm the victim had been a serviceman
- At a meeting of the government’s emergency response committee, Cobra, it was decided to tighten security at Woolwich and other barracks in London
- The Ministry of Defence said it was urgently looking into reports the incident had involved a soldier
- Another Cobra meeting will be held on Thursday morning, chaired by Mr Cameron
Home Secretary Theresa May said she had been briefed by the director general of Security Service MI5, Andrew Parker, and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe on the “sickening and barbaric” attack.
Mr Cameron said Britain had faced “these sort of attacks”, adding: “We will never buckle in the face of them.
“People across Britain, people in every community, I believe, will utterly condemn this attack.”
He expressed sympathy for the victim and his family, saying: “It is the most appalling crime. We are obviously seeking, and the police are urgently seeking, the full facts about this case.”
One witness, identified only as James, said two men had attacked another man, aged about 20, who was wearing a T-shirt of military charity Help for Heroes.
“These two guys were crazed. They were just animals. They dragged him from the pavement and dumped his body in the middle of the road and left his body there,” he told LBC radio.
He said after the “horrendous” attack, the two men, who were also in their 20s, stood around, waving knives and a gun, and asked people to take pictures of them “as if they wanted to be on TV or something”.
Read the full story on BBC News
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