LONDON - The SITE Intelligence Group says Islamic State's news agency is claiming fighters for the extremist group carried out the van and knife attack in London that left seven people dead and 48 injured, with 21 in critical condition.
Armed British police rushed to London Bridge late Saturday after reports of a vehicle hitting pedestrians and possible stabbings. Sky News reported that there were as many as five attackers armed with knives involved in the incident. Witnesses reported some victims had their throats slit. Others were stabbed in the stomach.
Nick Brandon of British Transport Police said the force had received reports of "multiple" casualties in an incident possibly involving a knife and a vehicle. He said he did not know how serious the injuries were. The BBC reported more than one person was dead.
Multiple witnesses reported a vehicle veering off the road and hitting several pedestrians; others also said they saw a man with a knife.
London's Metropolitan Police said armed officers were at two scenes — on the bridge and the nearby Borough Market, a busy area of restaurants and bars.
Witnesses reported a vehicle hitting pedestrians and seeing injured people on the ground on the bridge. One, Holly Jones, told the BBC a white van veered off the road and struck as many as six people. She said she saw at least four or five people on the ground.
Another witness, Will Heaven, said he saw people who appeared to have been hit, and one being put into an ambulance.
"We saw injured people on the road, injured people on the pavement," he told Sky News.
He added that "it did not look like an accident", saying it was clear that police "thought they were responding to something far more serious than a road traffic accident."
Transport for London said busy London Bridge station and two others were closed at the request of police.
Counterterrorism officers raided several addresses in Barking, London, and have arrested 12 people.
Prime Minister Theresa May's office said she was "in contact with officials and is being regularly updated on the incident at London Bridge."
The incident happened on a warm Saturday night in a busy area full of bars and restaurants.
It comes less than three months after an attacker ran down people with a vehicle on Westminster Bridge, killing four, then stabbed a policeman to death outside Parliament.
We are dealing with an incident on #LondonBridge, when we have more information we will update this twitter feed.— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) June 3, 2017
London Bridge was closed in both directions due to police activity and investigation.
The incident came just days after a terror bombing at a concert in Manchester killed 22 people.
With the Associated Press