An improvised explosive device was detonated on a London Underground train on Friday morning, injuring 22 people in what police say was a terrorist incident.
Counter-terrorism officers took charge of the investigation and were seeking to establish who had planted the device on a packed commuter train during rush hour.
Armed police and emergency services rushed to Parsons Green Underground station in west London after receiving reports of an explosion at 8.20am. The device comprised a bucket in a carrier bag with protruding wires, according to witness accounts and images on social media. Passengers on the District Line train said it burst into flames, leaving those nearest to it with burns.
Theresa May has called a meeting of the emergency Cobra committee to discuss the event. “My thoughts are with those injured at Parsons Green and emergency services who are responding bravely to this terrorist incident,” the prime minister said.
This is the fifth attack the police have classified as “terrorist” in the UK this year. In March a lone attacker killed four pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and a police officer guarding parliament before being shot dead. In May a suicide bomber blew himself up at a concert in Manchester, killing 22, and in June eight people died when three men linked to a jihadist network struck on London Bridge and nearby Borough Market. Later that month a man from Cardiff was charged with murder after a van was driven at worshippers outside Finsbury Park mosque in north London, killing one.
Mark Rowley, assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, told reporters that hundreds of detectives were making “urgent inquiries” in relation to the incident. Underground trains have CCTV cameras inside each carriage but Mr Rowley gave no indication that anyone was under arrest, nor details of anyone being sought.
“In terms of the police response, I would emphasise that Londoners in particular can expect to see an enhanced police presence, particularly on the transport system, across the day,” Mr Rowley said outside New Scotland Yard.
Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, said on his Facebook page: “Our city utterly condemns the hideous individuals who attempt to use terror to harm us and destroy our way of life.” He added: “I urge all Londoners to be calm and vigilant.”
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Source: Financial Times