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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

terror attack on UK Parliament foiled .. .. Mrs May safely escorted to Downing Street

Mayhem at Westminster ~ terrified witnesses described watching a terrorist using a 4x4 as a weapon sending pedestrians flying like skittles before 'plunging' a seven-inch knife into a policeman. The terror suspect crashed into UK Parliament's railings and then rushed the gates and stabbed the Met officer before an plain-clothes officer then shot the assailant three officers. One victim of the car attack was thrown from Westminster Bridge and left floating face down in the Thames but was pulled from the river alive. At least one person is dead and more than 12 people are injured including some with catastrophe. .. .. ..

Westminster is on the north bank of the River Thames. Westminster's concentration of visitor attractions and historic landmarks, one of the highest in London, includes the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral. The name Westminster originated from the informal description of the abbey church and royal peculiar of St Peter's (Westminster Abbey), literally West of the City of London.  In a government context, Westminster often refers to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, located in the UNESCO World Heritage Palace of Westminster - also known as the Houses of Parliament.

The area is the centre of UK government, with Parliament in the Palace of Westminster and most of the major Government ministries known as Whitehall, itself the site of the royal palace that replaced that at Westminster.  The Parliament of the United Kingdom,  is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and its territories. Its head is the Sovereign of the United Kingdom (currently Queen Elizabeth II).  The parliament is bicameral, consisting of an upper house (the House of Lords) and a lower house (the House of Commons).  Prior to the opening of the Supreme Court in October 2009, the House of Lords also performed a judicial role through the Law Lords.  The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Treaty of Union by Acts of Union passed by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland.

Today, as terror attack occurred on the Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May was rushed out of Parliament as it came under terrorist attack by a man wielding a seven-inch knife.  In a swift action, Mrs May, who was in the voting lobby by the Commons, was seen being bundled into the back seat of her silver Jaguar surrounded by armed guards at around 2.30pm. She then was driven out of the Palace of Westminster at high speed and is now off the estate and safely inside Downing Street.

MPs were locked inside the Commons and told to remain there for their own safety and armed police are going through Parliament 'floor by floor' and 'room by room' looking for any other assailants.  People inside were warned to stay away from any windows.

Daily Mail and other media report that at least two people are dead after a terror attacker brought carnage to central London today, mowing down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before attacking police with a knife in the grounds of the Houses of Parliament. More than 12 people are said to have been hit by a vehicle on the bridge after a 4x4 drove into pedestrians and cyclists before crashing into the gates of Parliament. An intruder, described by a witness as 'middle-aged and Asian', then managed to break into the grounds of the Parliament and stabbed a police officer before he was shot. The policeman is thought to have since died. An hour after the attack, paramedics removed a man, thought to be the attacker, from the scene after extensive CPR. Another body appeared to have been left on the ground covered by a red blanket.

Scotland Yard said the attack, which comes a year to the day after the terrorist atrocities in Brussels, is being treated 'as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise'. Commons Leader David Lidington told MPs a 'police officer has been stabbed' and the 'alleged assailant was shot by armed police' following a 'serious' incident within the parliamentary estate.  Witness Jayne Wilkinson said: 'We were taking photos of Big Ben and we saw all the people running towards us, and then there was an Asian guy in about his 40s carrying a knife about seven or eight inches long. 'And then there were three shots fired, and then we crossed the road and looked over. The man was on the floor with blood. 'He had a lightweight jacket on, dark trousers and a shirt. He was running through those gates, towards Parliament, and the police were chasing him.'

A spokesman for the Port of London Authority, which looks after safety on the River Thames, said: 'A female member of the public was recovered from the water near Westminster Bridge. She is alive but undergoing urgent medical treatment on a nearby pier. We believe she fell from the bridge.' He said the river has been closed from Vauxhall to Embankment 'as part of the security response'.  Tourists who were riding the London Eye when the attack took place are currently being held inside the pods of the attraction as a safety measure.  The Ferris wheel's official Twitter account said given its close proximity to the Houses of Parliament, it would be keeping hold 'of all its guests as per tried and tested security procedures'.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

22nd Mar 2017

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