England: Reading stabbings that killed 3 declared terror attack
Three people have died and three others have suffered serious injuries in a stabbing attack on Saturday night in England's Reading town, about 65 km west of London. The incident occurred at the Forbury Gardens in Reading's town center. Reportedly, the attack is now being treated as a terrorism incident and one man has been arrested. Here are more details.
According to The Guardian, a 25-year-old Libyan nation has been held in connection with the incident. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, senior national coordinator for the Counter Terrorism Policing Network, also declared the attack a terrorism incident. The Counter-Terrorism Policing South East will now take over the investigation. At least two casualties are being treated in the emergency department of the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
Detective Chief Superintendent Ian Hunter said, "We have made one arrest and at this stage, we are not looking for any other people in connection with this incident." Hunter added, "There is no intelligence to suggest that there is any further danger to the public. However, we urge people to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious by calling the police."
An eyewitness, Lawrence Wort (20), told reporters, "A lot of people sat around drinking with friends, when one lone person walked through, suddenly shouted some unintelligible words and went around a large group of around 10, trying to stab them." "He stabbed three of them, severely in the neck, and under the arms, and then turned and started running towards me."
Wort added, "When he realized that he couldn't catch us, he tried to stab another group sat down. He got one person in the back of the neck and then when he realized everyone was starting to run, he ran out of the park."
After the incident, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted saying, "My thoughts are with all of those affected by the appalling incident in Reading and my thanks to the emergency services on the scene." UK Home Secretary Priti Patel also said that she was "deeply concerned" adding, "My thoughts are with everyone involved, including police and emergency responders at the scene."
My thoughts are with all of those affected by the appalling incident in Reading and my thanks to the emergency services on the scene.— Boris Johnson #StayAlert (@BorisJohnson) June 20, 2020
Johnson chaired a meeting over the incident at 9 am on Sunday morning in 10 Downing Street to be updated about the latest developments in the case. Patel was also present during the meeting along with police and security officials.