British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday evening denounced the “sick and depraved” terrorist attack in London.
“The full details of exactly what happened are still emerging. But, having been updated by police and security officials, I can confirm that this appalling incident began when a single attacker drove his vehicle into pedestrians walking across Westminster Bridge, killing two people and injuring many more, including three police officers,” she continued.
“This attacker, who was armed with a knife, then ran towards Parliament where he was confronted by the police officers who keep us – and our democratic institutions – safe. Tragically, one officer was killed. The terrorist was also shot dead.”
May stressed that the United Kingdom’s threat level will continue to be set at severe and added that “the location of this attack was no accident.”
“The terrorists chose to strike at the heart of our capital city, where people of all nationalities, religions and cultures come together to celebrate the values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech,” she continued. “These streets of Westminster – home to the world’s oldest Parliament – are engrained with a spirit of freedom that echoes in some of the furthest corners of the globe. And the values our Parliament represents – democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law – command the admiration and respect of free people everywhere. That is why it is a target for those who reject those values.”
“But let me make it clear today, as I have had cause to do before: any attempt to defeat those values through violence and terror is doomed to failure,” May said.
Eyewitnesses said that a car mowed down a dozen pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge before crashing into the gates outside of the Portcullis House in Wednesday’s attack.
Parliament sessions were suspended following the incident. London police said they are treating the incident as a terrorist attack.