December 6 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
A man has died in a machete attack and two suspects are in hospital after being shot by police in Woolwich.
Footage has emerged of a man wielding a bloodied meat cleaver after the attack in John Wilson Street near the Royal Artillery Barracks.
The dead man is thought to have been a serving British soldier.
Metropolitan Police officers called to the terrifying scene in John Wilson Street near the Royal Artillery Barracks opened fire and shot the attackers.
Both are now in hospital, with one is said to be in a serious condition.
Prime Minister David Cameron described the attack as “truly shocking” while the Home Secretary Theresa May said it was “sickening and barbaric”.
Fotage has emerged of one of the suspected killers, apparently explaining his terrifying actions, saying: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you.”.
In the clip, obtained by ITV News, he is heard to say: “We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
“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 an extended version on the Sun website, the man adds: “You think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street when we start bussin’ our guns? You think politicians are going to die?
“No it’s going to be the average guy, like you, and your children.
“So get rid of them. Tell them to bring our troops back so you can all live in peace.”
The attacker, who spoke clear English without a foreign accent, is then seen walking towards the victim, who is lying in the street. Another man is standing by a car that has collided with a road sign.
Eyewitnesses huddled behind a police cordon as around 30 to 40 officers secured the scene, just around the corner from Mulgrave Primary School.
Woolwich and Greenwich MP Nick Raynsford said it was his understanding that the dead man was a serving soldier.
He said he had spoken to both borough commander Richard Wood and Lieutenant Colonel Bob Christopher at Woolwich Barracks.
Mr Raynsford said: “It’s been suggested it was the product of a road traffic accident, but that’s pure speculation.
“I’ll be talking to everyone who is involved, we will be trying to do everything possible to try and ensure calm in the area. People will be very, very shocked.”
One witness, identified as James Heneghan, said he and his partner saw two black men attack a young man aged around 20-years-old in a Help for Heroes T-shirt with kitchen knives like he was “a piece of meat”.
“They were hacking at this poor guy, literally,” he told LBC radio. “They were hacking at him, chopping him, cutting him.”
The government held a meeting of its Cobra emergency response committee. It heard that security had been tightened at Woolwich barracks and increased at all London barracks, Downing Street said.
The meeting lasted just under an hour and was attended by the Home Secretary, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Met Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick and intelligence agencies.
The meeting was told there are strong indications that it was a terrorist incident.
London Ambulance Service confirmed a man was found dead at the scene, while two other men were taken to hospital, one of them in a serious condition.
The Ministry of Defence said it was urgently looking at the reports that the incident involved a soldier but had no further comment.
Metropolitan Police Commander Simon Letchford confirmed tonight that the two attackers were shot by armed officers.
He said in a statement: “A number of weapons were reportedly being used in the attack, and this included reports of a firearm.”
He added: “Two men, who we believe from early reports to have been carrying weapons, were shot by police. They were taken to separate London hospitals. They are receiving treatment for their injuries.”
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has started an investigation in to the circumstances surrounding the shooting of the two suspects. This is a matter of routine when officers use their firearms.