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Terrorist kills 2 before police shoot him dead; LONDON BRIDGE HEROES GRAPPLE KILLER TO GROUND BEFORE COPS TERMINATE HIM.

Byline: PA REPORTERS

A TERRORIST wearing a fake suicide vest who went on a knife rampage in central London killing two people was shot dead by police yesterday.

Several people were stabbed by the knifeman before he was grappled to the ground and disarmed by heroic members of the public on London Bridge.

Footage showed one man being urged to move away by armed officers before the suspect was shot at point-blank range.

Another bystander could be seen carrying a large knife from the scene.

The members of the public who intervened have been widely praised, with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan hailing their "breathtaking heroism" and Prime Minister Boris Johnson their "extraordinary bravery".

Eye-witnesses said the suspect appeared to be wearing a suicide vest but Neil Basu, the head of UK counter-terrorism policing, said the vest was a fake. He said police were called at around 2pm on Friday to a stabbing "at a premises near London Bridge".

The bridge was the scene of a terror attack in 2017 - also during a general election campaign - when eight victims were killed along with the three terrorists, who were also wearing fake suicide vests and armed with knives. After being shot, the suspect in Friday's attack raised his arms towards his head before lying still. A second knife could be seen on the ground near his body.

Scotland Yard did not give any details of the number of injured other than the two victims who had died.

One picture on social media appeared to show a body covered with a blanket.

Witnesses described a scene of panic around London Bridge, moments after the incident.

Nurse Jackie Bensfield, 32, described how she asked to be let off a bus on London Bridge after she heard "five or six" gunshots.

Ms Bensfield, who was on her way home from work, said she exited the bus and "ran like hell" to escape the shots.

Cecilia Sodero was on the top deck of a bus going over London Bridge when she heard shots and saw a man lying on the ground with a "very scary device, like a bomb device".

She said she saw "six people holding someone on the floor", adding: "At some point someone says 'oh, he has a knife',' and we were like, oh my gosh, this guy is supposed to stab someone and people was running away.

"The police officers finally they removed the knife. But then what happened is when they shot the guy, the guy is still alive, and they shoot and he's trying to pull the black jacket off so I was able to see the vest that he was wearing.

"And it seems like a very scary device, like a bomb device, at that point we just ran away from the bus."

Met Police assistant commissioner Neil Basu, the head of UK counter-terrorism policing, confirmed the force was treating it as a terrorist incident.

The incident on London Bridge comes weeks after the UK's terrorism threat level was downgraded.

The threat level was lowered on November 4 to "substantial" from "severe", meaning attacks were thought to be "likely" rather than "highly likely".

Announcing the decision, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "Despite the change in the threat level, terrorism remains one of the most direct and immediate risks to our national security.

"Substantial continues to indicate a high level of threat, and an attack might well occur without further warning.

"As ever, the public should remain vigilant and report any concerns they may have to the police.

"Government, police and intelligence agencies will continue to work tirelessly to address the threat posed by terrorism in all its forms."

CAPTION(S):

Bystanders and police surrounding the terrorist before he is shot dead

The terrorist lies dead after police shoot him on the bridge

A bystander takes what appears to be the killer's knife away
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Author:PA REPORTERS
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 30, 2019
Words:645
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