Woolwich machete attack leaves man dead

Aerial view of Woolwich incident scene An air ambulance was called to the scene of the reported attack

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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".

The case for this being a jihadist attack, following the ideology of al-Qaeda, is compelling - even if the police won't yet say so officially.

If it is, then it would be the first such incident leading to a death of someone other than the perpetrator since the 2005 London suicide bombings.

So the first task for ministers and officials is to assess the threat to the public - are other attacks planned?

The official terrorism threat level is currently "substantial", which means an attack is "a strong possibility".

If officials raise the level to "severe", that would mean they fear another attack is highly likely.

If the victim is indeed a soldier, then that will be no surprise to security chiefs.

Jihadists believe they are at war with the military because of its role in the Afghanistan conflict and elsewhere.

The UK has previously uncovered three plots linked to possible terror attacks on the armed forces, including a cell in 2007 which planned to kidnap and behead a soldier in an Iraq-style hostage video.

"They were oblivious to anything, they were more worried about having their photo taken, running up and down the road," he said.

Witness Graham Wilders told the BBC he had arrived on the scene to find a car crashed into a wall and a man on the ground.

"Two people were lying over him and I thought they were trying to resuscitate him," he said.

But Mr Wilders said he had driven on to park his car, and when he had returned another witness had told him the two men had been stabbing the man on the ground.

Thomas, another witness who contacted the BBC, said: "I got there minutes after it happened because you could hear gunshots from Woolwich High Street.

"Basically two men carried out an axe attack on a young army cadet walking along the street, by the looks of things the police responded and then shot them in front of the public, at the same time I couldn't really tell if the cadet was fatally or not hurt as police were crowded around him."

According to senior Whitehall sources the people carrying out the attack were heard to say: "Allahu Akbar [God is Great]", BBC political editor Nick Robinson reported.

Met Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said it was "hard to comprehend the shocking and horrific scenes we have seen this afternoon on a busy street as Londoners went about their day as normal".

He said officers would "work tirelessly to uncover why this occurred and who was responsible".

On Twitter, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson described the attack as a "sickening deluded and unforgivable act of violence".

Buckingham Palace says the Queen is concerned at the news of the attack and is being kept informed.

Help for Heroes said the charity was "appalled to hear that a man, believed to be a serving soldier, has been brutally murdered in Woolwich today".

The Muslim Council of Britain said in a statement: "This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly. Our thoughts are with the victim and his family."

School lock-down

Mr Raynsford, the Woolwich and Greenwich MP, said he had spoken to local police and understood a number of weapons had been seized at the scene including a gun, knives, and a machete.

Metropolitan Police Commander Simon Letchford said two alleged attackers had been shot by officers.

He said: "Police were called to reports of an assault... where one man was being assaulted by two other men. A number of weapons were reportedly being used in the attack, and this included reports of a firearm.

"Officers including local Greenwich officers arrived at the scene, and shortly after firearms officers arrived on the scene.

Joe Tallant, eyewitness: "They wanted to get caught"

"On their arrival at the scene 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 have both been taken to separate London hospitals. They are receiving treatment for their injuries.

"I can understand that this incident will cause community concerns and I would like to reiterate that we are investigating the circumstances."

Meanwhile, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) confirmed it had been informed.

David Dixon, a local head teacher, told the BBC News Channel he walked out of the school gates and saw a body lying in the road a short distance away.

He then heard gunshots and instructed staff to lock all the gates of his school.

An air ambulance landed in the playground and the children were sent home.

The Met Police said extra officers would remain on duty in the London borough of Greenwich on Wednesday night.

Map of scene

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    Independent review of Met policy 17:28:

    On the £37,000 payout to PC Carol Howard for race and sex discrimination, the Metropolitan Police said Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe "has made it quite clear that there is no place for such behaviour" and the force has apologised to the officer.

    "It is essential that all staff and the public have full confidence in our Fairness at Work policy and we are commissioning an independent review of the policy," the statement said.

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    The Great Fire of London 17:21:

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    The Monument in the City of London

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    'Menacing' tweets 16:35:

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    Peter Nunn

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    Dr Crippen's ledgers fail to sell 16:05:

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    Dr Hawley Crippen

    The two leather-bound ledgers from the time he ran the London office of Munyon Remedies were expected to sell for up to £5,000 at Mullocks auctioneers in Ludlow, but failed to meet the reserve.

    News on the hour 16:00:

    Top London news on BBC London 94.9:

    A firearms officer has been awarded more than £37,000 by an employment tribunal, after suffering race and sexual discrimination at the hands of the Metropolitan Police. Pc Carol Howard says she's been "bullied, harassed and victimised".

    'Dirty trick' by the Met Police 15:49:

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    "I am glad that the tribunal recognised that this leak of information was a dirty trick by the Metropolitan Police aimed solely at deflecting criticism from itself while simultaneously seriously damaging my reputation."

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    Morgan Amalfitano

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    Oscar Garcia

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    Brough Scott, grandson of Warrior"s owner and rider General Jack Seely, with the Honorary PDSA Dickin Medal Brough Scott, grandson of Warrior's owner and rider General Jack Seely, with the Honorary PDSA Dickin Medal

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    Top London headline on BBC London 94.9 this hour:

    Man 'sent MP rape tweet' 14:49:

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    Stella Creasy MP

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    Motorcyclist killed in Upminster 14:37:

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    Man 'sent MP rape tweet' 14:27:

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    Peter Nunn Peter Nunn denies sending abusive tweets

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    Southall house fire 14:17:

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    London's Fire Commissioner resigns 14:07:

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    Ron Dobson

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    News on the hour 13:57:

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    • Emma Gilthorpe, the director of strategy at Heathrow Airport, says expanding Heathrow is now the only correct option after the plan for a Thames estuary airport was rejected.
    • A 26-year-old woman is in a critical condition in hospital after she was stabbed in an attack in Walthamstow, in which a six-year-old child was also injured.
    London hotel prices 13:43:

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    Boris Johnson

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    Opera star to close iTunes festival 13:20:

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    Placido Domingo

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    Signal failure on Bakerloo 13:11:

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    Lunchtime news 13:04: Sonja Jessup Presenter, BBC London News

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    London Mayor Boris Johnson insists it is not "game over" for his vision of a new airport in the Thames Estuary even though it has been rejected for being too risky and too expensive.

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    Central line tweets: No service between Marble Arch and Liverpool Street eastbound only. Severe delays on the rest of the line.

    Councillors complete Ice Bucket Challenge 12:32:

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    Ledgers used by Dr Crippen The ledgers contain a list of patients and the homeopathic remedies they were given

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    Thames estuary airport rejected 12:12: Debabani Majumdar BBC London News

    Thanks for your comments on Facebook on the decision to reject a plan for an island airport in the Thames Estuary - backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

    Anthony Cummings said: This airport was always a non starter, now the studies should be stopped and new runway built elsewhere

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    • Scotland Yard says there will be more vehicle checkpoint searches and extra police patrols following the decision to raise the terror threat level to severe.
    • Ceremonial uniforms belonging to British Army units which guard the Queen have been stolen in a robbery at a military supplier in Haringey.
    Met criticised over race bias case 1 11:48:

    An employment tribunal has criticised the Metropolitan Police for trying to "deflect" negative publicity by releasing details linked to the arrest of PC Carol Howard, a firearms officer who suffered race and sexual discrimination.

    PC Howard received more than £37,000 after she was discriminated against for being a black woman by her boss in the Diplomatic Protection Group.

    PC Carol Howard

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    Teen rescued from Thames after dare 11:37: via Facebook

    Thanks for your comments on Facebook on the teenager who had to be rescued after he accepted a dare to jump in the River Thames.

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    Mayor on airport capacity 11:07: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    @VanessaOnAir tweets: .@MayorofLondon speaking to Vanessa about #airportcapacity

    Boris Johnson
    News on the hour 10:56:

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    There is no firm estimate yet of how long disruption will last but it is likely to continue until at least 11:00.

    Metropolitan Police HQ moves 10:43:

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    Met Police HQ The Metropolitan Police moved to its current home in 1967

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    'Bobbies before buildings' 10:20:

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    New Met Police HQ The new Met Police HQ on Victoria Embankment will house 1,000 officers and staff

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    News on the hour 10:00:

    Top London news on BBC London 94.9:

    • The New Scotland Yard building is going on the market for £250m
    • A 24-year-old woman's in a critical condition after being stabbed at a property in Walthamstow
    Met Police HQ for £250m 09:50: Danny Shaw Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: New Scotland Yard officially up for sale. Offers in excess of £250m. A lot of interest in the site already apparently

    Parcels delivered on Sundays 09:40:

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    Woman stabbed in Waltham Forest 09:30:

    A 26-year-old woman is in a critical condition in hospital after being attacked at a residential property in Hatherley Road, Walthamstow, east London, yesterday afternoon.

    Officers and London Ambulance Service attended and found her suffering from stab wounds to her arm and neck. A six-year-old child at the address received treatment at the scene for a minor injury, police said.

    VIDEO: Row over Barbican exhibition 09:17:

    The Barbican Centre has been criticised for planning to host an exhibition that has been branded racist by some critics.

    Exhibit B

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    Airport decision 'myopic' 09:07:

    Reacting to the rejection of the Thames estuary airport London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "In one myopic stroke the Airports Commission has set the debate back by half a century.

    "Gatwick is not a long term solution and Howard Davies must explain to the people of London how he can possibly envisage that an expansion of Heathrow, which would create unbelievable levels of noise, blight and pollution, is a better idea than a new airport to the east of London."

    News on the hour 08:57:

    Top London headlines on BBC London 94.9:

    • Plans for a Thames estuary airport rejected
    • Londoners will now be able to have parcels delivered on a Sunday or collect them from a delivery office
    Economic and environmental hurdles 08:50:

    Stating his reason behind rejecting the Thames estuary airport plan Sir Howard Davies said: "There are serious doubts about the delivery and operation of a very large hub airport in the estuary.

    "The economic disruption would be huge and there are environmental hurdles which it may prove impossible, or very time-consuming to surmount." The least ambitious version of the island scheme would cost £70bn to £90bn, much more than other options, he said.

    As it happened
    • News, sport, travel, weather for Tues 2 Sep
    • More updates from 08:00 on Wednesday
    • Listen to BBC London 94.9
    Thames estuary airport rejected 08:40: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The Airports Commission has rejected a plan for an island airport in the Thames estuary. The idea had been strongly pushed by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

    More with Vanessa Feltz from 09:00.

    Teen rescued from Thames after dare 08:30:

    A teenager was rescued from the Thames near Westminster after jumping into the river for a prank.

    Still from RNLI video footage The boy was rescued from the water on Sunday and treated by London Ambulance Service

    The 16-year-old, who was rescued by Tower RNLI, said he had been dared to jump in so his friends could upload video footage to YouTube. Tower RNLI said it was already on a call near Waterloo Bridge on Sunday when crew members heard radio traffic saying a person was in the water near Westminster.

    Road delays 08:24:

    There are delays on the M1 northbound between junctions 5 and 6 due to an overturned car.

    This has also caused delays on the M1 southbound as drivers slow down to take a look. Get up to date travel information on BBC London Travel News or on Twitter @BBCTravelAlert.

    Tube delays 08:14:

    There are minor delays on the Northern line, Bank branch - Camden Town to Kennington - after a train broke down at Euston.

    The Victoria line also has delays following problems with a train at Brixton.

    'Boris Island' rejected 08:09:

    A plan for an island airport in the Thames estuary has been rejected by a commission looking into the UK's airport needs.

    Boris Island

    The proposal was dubbed Boris Island because of strong backing from Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who said the decision was "myopic" and had put back debate on the issue.

    Weather forecast 08:03:

    There will be varying amounts of cloud throughout today, but also some warm sunny spells once early mist and low cloud gradually lift and break.

    Highs of 21C (70F).

    08:00: Debabani Majumdar BBC London News

    Good morning, I'll be bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather from London today for BBC Local Live.

    You can also send your news, pictures and comments to london.locallive@bbc.co.uk.



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