Friday, September 15, 2017

London - Terror attack at Parsons Green tube station

(The Guardian)- An explosion that injured 22 people at Parsons Green underground station in west London was a terrorist incident, the Metropolitan police have said.

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Commuters on a tube train reported hearing a bang and seeing a fireball flying down the carriage during Friday morning rush hour. Pictures and videos, purporting to be from one of the carriages, showed flames coming out of a carrier bag containing a white bucket.

Police later confirmed the blast was from an improvised explosive device. Investigators have recovered what appears to be a circuit board from the scene and are examining it for clues.

NHS England said 22 people were receiving treatment at three hospitals, as well as an urgent care centre in Parsons Green. None were thought to be in a serious or life-threatening condition.

Speaking outside New Scotland Yard, the assistant Met police commissioner Mark Rowley said: “We now assess that this was a detonation of an improvised explosive device.” Most of those injured were believed to have sustained flash burns, he said.

Rowley said the investigation was being led by the Met’s counter-terrorism command and involved hundreds of detectives, with support from MI5. There would be an enhanced police presence following the attack, particularly in London and on public transport, he said.

He refused to say whether anyone was in custody in connection with the incident, but the Met later confirmed that no arrests had been made.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, told LBC radio: “There is a manhunt under way as we speak.” He said he was not allowed to say whether that meant a specific suspect was being sought.

Earlier, Khan said the city “utterly condemns the hideous individuals who attempt to use terror to harm us and destroy our way of life”, and urged Londoners to remain calm and vigilant.

Detectives were examining CCTV from the underground network to determine where those behind the attack entered and exited the tube system. Neil Basu, the senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing, declared that the attack was a terrorist incident.

Downing Street said the prime minister, Theresa May, would be chairing a meeting of the government’s Cobra crisis response committee on Friday morning and was receiving regular updates.
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