Russell Square stabbings: What we know so far

Following the stabbing at Russell Square in London, this is what we know about the attack, the assailant, the victims and the police.

The attack

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Image caption Police investigators at the scene in Russell Square, London
  • A fatal stabbing occurred in Russell Square, central London, at about 10.30pm on Wednesday
  • A woman was killed and five other people were injured
  • Police say armed officers arrived on the scene within six minutes of receiving 999 calls and chased the suspect
  • A Taser (electric stun gun) was discharged at the suspect, but no shots were fired
  • Police have arrested the suspect on suspicion of murder
  • Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said police believed it was a spontaneous attack and that the victims were selected at random
  • Russell Square is in a popular tourist area with many hotels, close to the British Museum

The suspect

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Image caption Police are working to establish the attacker's motive
  • The suspect is a 19-year old male Norwegian national of Somali origin
  • Investigation so far does not suggest attacker's Somali background is relevant to his motivation, says Mr Rowley
  • Mr Rowley emphasis police have found no evidence of radicalisation that would suggested terrorism was motive
  • He says investigation "increasingly points to this tragic incident as having been triggered by mental health issues"
  • He is now in police custody at a south London police station, according to a police statement

The victims

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Image caption There are few details of the victims so far
  • A woman, believed to have been in her 60s, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say she was an American national
  • Two women and three men suffered "various injuries" in the attack
  • Their nationalities are Australian, American, Israeli and British, according to police
  • Police says their injuries are not life-threatening
  • Two remain in hospital, the other three have been discharged, police said earlier

The police

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Image caption Londoners will notice an increased presence on the streets of officers, says the Met
  • Police say were at the scene in large numbers within six minutes of receiving reports of the attack
  • One witness estimated there were about 70-80 police offers at the scene
  • The Met's homicide department is leading the investigation
  • Counter-terrorism officers have been supporting the investigation
  • Police have worked on five strands: interviewing the suspect, speaking with his family, witness accounts, address searches, and full intelligence review
  • Police have searched addresses in north London, will search another in south London, says Mark Rowley
  • The Met says extra police reinforcements, including armed officers, are patrolling the streets in London on Thursday
  • From Wednesday, numbers of patrolling officers had already been increased

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