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Two innocent members of the public have died after a knifeman went on a rampage this afternoon in London.
Armed police shot dead a knifeman wearing a fake suicide vest today after he stabbed up to five people in a shocking terrorist attack as frightened crowds fled the scene.
Up to five people were stabbed before the knife maniac ran onto London Bridge shortly before 2pm, where dramatic video showed he was tackled to the ground by at least six heroic members of the public.
Seconds later police told people on top of the suspect to move away, before dragging the last bystander to safety and opening fire. Officers were heard shouting 'stop moving' twice before shooting the man at close range.
One of the brave heroes was on the other side of the bridge, before tackling the man and wrestling the knife off him. The suspect lay on the ground still moving as officers backed away - clearly fearing they were still in danger.
Meanwhile police immediately evacuated the south side of London Bridge near Borough Market, as hundreds of frightened bystanders began screaming and running for their lives as they heard shots being fired.
Witnesses described a scene of panic around London Bridge, with ambulance crews giving CPR to one victim on the floor near Monument Underground station and some people helped to their feet after falling over in the rush. It has since been reported that at least twelve people have been left injured following the attack today and a Whitehall spokesperson confirmed to the BBC that there have been two fatalities.
Today's incident comes two and a half years after the horrifying terrorist attack on London Bridge in June 2017 which saw Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, kill eight people and injure 48 others.
The incident started close to London's main financial hub where thousands of bankers and finance workers travel every day. It started outside Grade II listed buildings Fishmongers' Hall. Many buildings in the financial district were on high security this afternoon as roads were closed in the area, many workers were also stood outside their buildings as officers cordoned off the roads.
Up to five people were stabbed before the knife maniac ran onto London Bridge shortly before 2pm this afternoon, where dramatic video (pictured above) showed he was tackled to the ground by at least six heroic members of the public
One of the bystanders on London Bridge was seen holding a knife (left) which appeared to have been taken from the suspect. Another man - believed to be the shot knifeman - could be seen lying on the ground, close to a knife (circled, right)
The image above gives a clear view of the suspected knifeman and the fake explosives device he was wearing at the time of the attack this afternoon
The alleged knifeman is pictured above on the floor with armed police on the right hand side. The is seen wearing the fake explosive device. The officers appear to be pointing their guns at him
A woman is carried away from the scene by police officers at London Bridge this afternoon. Four officer took her to safety
Police apprehend a man in an street on the south side of London Bridge today as they respond to the incident. Other members of the public seem to be walking past obliviously
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was 'being kept updated' as he abandoned campaigning and rushed back to Westminster from his Uxbridge constituency. It comes weeks after the UK's terror threat level was downgraded.
He added: 'I can assure you and assure everyone that anyone involved in this attack will be hunted down and brought to justice.'
Extra police officers will be on patrol across London in the wake of the attack, while British Transport Police said there also would be more officers on the transport network including firearms officers and other specialist teams.
London Bridge station reopened this evening but cordons could remain in place across the city of the weekend 'due to other factors'.
People are evacuated from London Bridge in the capital this afternoon after a police incident. People were seen running down the street
Police on Cannon Street in London near the scene of the incident on London Bridge in the capital today. Roads were closed entering and exiting London Bridge
Police and emergency services at the scene of the incident on London Bridge this afternoon. Police officers were seen co-coordinating members of the public
Forensic officers are seen near the site of the incident early this evening. One office seems to be holding a light up while the other takes a picture
Mayor Sadiq Khan said some of those stabbed were 'seriously injured', Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was 'very concerned' and President Donald Trump said the US pledges 'full support to our ally, the United Kingdom'.
The incident took place on a busy Friday afternoon in London, where many officer workers frequently leave their desks early to enjoy the bars and restaurants nearby. Today is also one of the biggest shopping days for the UK with Black Friday sales sweeping many stores across the country.
As well as city workers and tourists, those also thought to have been caught up in the incident were a group of Cambridge University students who were thought to have been attending an event nearby.
A spokesman said: 'We are gravely concerned at reports that University of Cambridge staff, students and alumni were caught up in the incident at London Bridge. We are urgently seeking clarification and further details. Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by these terrible events.'
One video showed what appeared to be police pulling equipment out of a vehicle nearby. Those in the video could be heard saying: 'They've actually got guns out.'
One bus driver, who was in the area at the time of the attack told of the moment police advised him to get out of his vehicle and run.
Bus driver Mustafa Salih was travelling towards London Bridge when he saw the cordons and police vehicles. Speaking to BBC London he said: 'A police officer came up to me and and said turn your engine off, get off and run.
'I looked up and I could see a crowd of people coming towards me. One woman was crying, it was all very scary and we did not know what was happening'.
Neil Basu, the head of UK counter-terrorism policing, said outside the New Scotland Yard headquarters shortly after 4pm: 'At approximately 2pm today, police were called to a stabbing at a premises near London Bridge.
Forensic officers seemed to be pitching up this evening, as they continue to investigate the scene close to London Bridge
A police man with a dog patrols the area near London Bridge after the stabbing in the area was declared a terrorist incident by the Met
Armed police were seen patrolling the streets early this evening with emergency vehicles being parked up on both sides of the road