UK Parliament attack: At least five dead, dozens hurt in 'depraved' terror attack
GRAPHIC WARNING: The story below contains images that could upset some readers.
London's worst terror attack in more than a decade has left at least five people dead, including the assailant and the police officer he stabbed. At least 40 people have been injured.
The suspect mowed down several pedestrians as he drove a grey Hyundai i40 across Westminster Bridge before crashing it into railings then running through the gates of the Palace of Westminster and stabbing a police officer.
Scotland Yard said the killed officer was Keith Palmer, who had been with the service for 15 years. He was a husband and a father.
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The rampage shut down the British Parliament, leaving hundreds of lawmakers and workers in lockdown for several hours.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has condemned the incident as a "sick and depraved terrorist attack".
May was in the lobby of the House of Commons before she was whisked to safety in a Jaguar.
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Police said the suspect was known to authorities, but would not comment further.
"This is a day we planned for but hoped would never happen. Sadly, it's now a reality," said national head of counter-terrorism policing Mark Rowley. "We will continue to do all we can to protect the people of London."
He said he "was satisfied" that there was only one attacker, who has yet to be identified, and said security would be boosted in the capital city.
"The people of London will see extra police officers – both armed and unarmed – out on our streets," said Rowley.
"We can call on the support of the military should we need to."
'HE DIED PROTECTING US'
British politicians paid tribute to the police officer killed on duty.
"We all mourn for PC Keith Palmer and send the deepest condolences to his family. He died protecting all of us at Westminster," said Ed Miliband on social media.
Conservative MP James Cleverly and longtime friend said he was devastated by Palmer's death: "I've known Keith for 25 years. We served together in the Royal Artillery before he became a copper. A lovely man, a friend. I'm heartbroken."
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said his thoughts were with the slain officer's family.
"Keith Palmer was killed doing his duty – protecting our city and the heart of our democracy," said Khan in a statement. "My heart goes out to his family, friends and colleagues."
Counter-terrorism chief Mark Rowley said Palmer was a member of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command. "He was someone who left for work today expecting to return home at the end of his shift and he had every right to expect that would happen."
Palmer was unarmed. He was reportedly attacked by the still-unnamed suspect with a knife, before his plainclothes colleagues shot the assailant, who later died.
The BBC reported the police officer who was killed died while being given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Minister Tobias Ellwood was shown at the scene trying to resuscitate him.
SCHOOLCHILDREN, AUSTRALIAN AMONG INJURED
Some 40 people were injured in the attack, including three French schoolchildren and a woman from Australia.
nviting British High Commissioner Menna Rawlings into the parliamentary chamber on Thursday to listen to condolence speeches, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull revealed an Australian permanent resident had been injured and was receiving treatment in hospital.
The woman is from Germany and had been living in South Australia. Attorney-General George Brandis told Senate question time that she was receiving treatment in hospital and consular staff were providing assistance. She has an injured foot.
It is believed the woman was on the Westminster Bridge when the attacker drove his car into pedestrians.
French newspaper Le Telegramme identified the injured schoolchildren as teenage pupils from a private high school in Concarneau. At least two of the students are believed to be critically injured.
Two Romanians, said to be a couple, were also injured the BBC reported.
Witnesses said a woman threw herself off Westminster Bridge, plummeting nearly six metres into the waters of the Thames, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The South Korean government said five South Koreans in their 50s and 60s became injured when they were caught up in a stampede of people trying to escape the attack.
Four of them suffered broken bones, and a woman in her late 60s needed an operation to treat a head injury.
'FLYING PEOPLE LIKE A FOOTBALL'
Eyewitness Rick Longley said he saw a man "plunging" a knife into a police officer.
"A guy came past my right shoulder with a big knife and just started plunging it into the policeman," Longley said. "I just saw people being hit by a car at speed, it was harrowing."
Ismail Hassan said he had seen a first victim hit by a vehicle, then a few seconds later, another person, and then a third.
He told the BBC he saw "flying people like a football".
Grant Shapps, a Conservative lawmaker, said on social media he was walking to the lower house to vote when he heard gunshots and police ordered members of parliament to crawl to cover.
Tawhid Tanim, 28, a sales assistant who works near Parliament, described how he heard three gunshots and was told to run by police. "All I could hear was loud shots, gun shots – bang, bang, bang. People started running away. I could see a car had smashed the wall of Parliament," he said. "Police were saying 'move, move'."
BRITISH PM PAYS TRIBUTE TO EMERGENCY SERVICES
At a press conference, May paid tribute to the victims and commended the selflessness of the British security services.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected. To the victims themselves, and to their families and friends, who waved their loved ones off but will not be welcoming them home," she said.
"These events provide a particular reminder of the exceptional bravery of our police and security services. These exceptional men and women ran towards the danger, even as they encouraged others to move the other way.
Paramedics desperately trying to revive injured in New Palace Yard pic.twitter.com/esmQtULO9q— Libby Wiener (@LibbyWienerITV) March 22, 2017
"On behalf of the whole country, I want to pay tribute to them and to all our emergency services for the work they have been doing."
May said the location of the attack, at the heart of the country's vibrant capital city, was no accident.
She insisted that "Parliament will meet as normal" the next morning, and urged UK citizens to move on and behave as normal on Thursday.
"We will all move forward together, never giving in to terror and never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart," said the Prime Minister.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the city had suffered a "horrific attack", but would stand defiant against the face of terrorism.
"London is the greatest city in the world and we stand together in the face of those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life. We always have, and we always will," he said.
"Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism."