12 arrested in London’s night of terror; IS claims attack

12 arrested in London’s night of terror; IS claims attack

LONDON (AP) — British police arrested a dozen people Sunday in a widening terrorism investigation after attackers using a van and large knives turned a balmy evening of nightlife into a bloodbath and killed seven people in the heart of London. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

Although the attackers were also dead, authorities raced to determine whether they had accomplices, and Prime Minister Theresa May warned that the country faced a new threat from copycat attacks.

London police said officers killed the attackers within eight minutes of arriving at the scene. Eight officers fired some 50 rounds, said Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the force’s head of counterterrorism.

Islamic State’s statement Sunday from its Aamaq news agency claimed the group’s “fighters” were responsible, according to the SITE Intelligence Group. IS has urged supporters to weaponize vehicles in attacks against the West.

It was the third attack in Britain this year that Islamic State has claimed — after a similar attack on Westminister Bridge in March and the Manchester concert bombing two weeks ago — and one of several involving vehicles in Europe, including last year’s Bastille Day rampage in the French city of Nice.

Witnesses described how passers-by threw chairs and beer glasses at the attackers in an attempt to stop them.

(photo: London attack)

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