2 killed, 3 injured in stabbing attack near London Bridge

British police have shot dead a man who had strapped a fake bomb to his body and stabbed several people on Friday, including two fatally near the London Bridge area of the capital.

The attacker went on the rampage just before 2pm targeting people at Fishmongers’ Hall in the heart of the city’s financial district.

Authorities announced that the attacker was 28-year old Usman Khan, who had been had been convicted of terrorism offences and was released from prison last year.

“A male suspect was shot by specialist armed officers from the City of London police and I can confirm that this suspect died at the scene,” Neil Basu, United Kingdom’s top counter terrorism officer said.

“A number of other people received injuries during this incident,” Basu said.

“We believe a device that was strapped to the body of the suspect was a hoax explosive device.”

The Times newspaper reported that the knife attacker had been convicted of an “Islamist terrorism-related offence” and released from prison about a year ago.

In a statement on Twitter, London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “I remain in close contact with the Metropolitan Police and am being kept updated with events.”

In June 2017, at least eight people were killed in the London Bridge area when attackers ploughed a van into pedestrians before carrying out a stabbing assault at Borough Market.

In March the same year, an attacker stabbed a policeman close to London’s parliament buildings after a car ploughed into pedestrians on nearby Westminster Bridge.

Six people died, including the assailant and the policeman he stabbed, and at least 20 were injured in what police called a “marauding terrorist attack”.

Earlier this month, Britain had lowered its national “terrorism” threat level to “substantial” from “severe”, its lowest level since 2014.

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