London machete attack likely terrorist incident, PM David Cameron says (VIDEO)



Scenes of Crime Officers at the scene in Woolwich following a major incident in which a man was killed, on May 22, 2013 in London, England. It has been reported that the government and police are treating the attack in Woolwich on a serving soldier as a possible terrorist attack. Police have confirmed that one man has died after being attacked in the street by two men and firearms and knives were involved in the incident.


Dan Kitwood

A machete attack that left one man dead and two suspects wounded in London on Wednesday is being called a terrorist act.

The two suspects remained hospitalized Wednesday night, their identities and that of their victim are still unknown, the Associated Press said. One of suspects was reportedly in serious condition.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said there are "strong indications" the incident, which took place on a street in Woolwich, south London, was a terrorist attack.

Armed police responded to the scene after receiving reports two men had attacked another man with knives, and then left his bloodied corpse in the road, according to the Daily Mail.

The UK government is treating the incident as an act of terrorism and called a meeting of "Cobra," the country's emergency response group.

British Home Secretary Theresa May said a man had been "brutally murdered" in what she called a "sickening and barbaric attack."

Speaking at a press conference alongside French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday, Cameron said Britain would "never buckle" in the face of such attacks.

The incident took place in front of the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich near London.

Nick Raynsford, a British member of Parliament, told CNN that the victim was believed to be a soldier on duty in central London who was returning to his barracks.

Hollande, during the press conference with Cameron, also said the victim was a British soldier, though Cameron did not confirm or deny the fact.

Several news outlets reported that the two attackers shouted "Allahu Akbar" (the Arabic expression meaning "God is Great") during the murder.

The perpetrators are also believed to have filmed their attack, while asking onlookers if they wanted to take their picture.

Al Jazeera tweeted this picture which allegedly shows one of the attackers:

CNN affiliate ITN aired a video with a man holding a meat cleaver in bloody hands. In a London accent, he says, "The only reasons we killed this man this is because Muslims are dying daily. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for tooth."

He goes on to say, "We apologize that women had to see this today, but in our lands our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don't care about you."

This chilling video was broadcast on the British network ITV, purportedly showing one of the attackers.

The Telegraph reported that the victim was beheaded.

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"These two guys were crazed. They were just animals. They dragged him from the pavement and dumped his body in the middle of the road and left his body there," said a witness of the attack to LBC radio, according to the BBC. 

Police responded to the attack and then appear to have shot two of the assailants, who may have threatened officers, according to the Irish Times.

Metropolitan Police Commander Simon Letchford said the two men "were taken to separate London hospitals."

The Muslim Council of Britain released a statement condemning the attack.

"This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly," read the statement. "Our thoughts are with the victim and his family. We understand the victim is a serving member of the Armed Forces. Muslims have long served in this country's Armed Forces, proudly and with honor."

Police Commander Simon Letchford said there would be heightened security in the area and appealed for calm. 

"There will continue to be an increased police presence in this area, and the surrounding areas this evening," he said.

"I am asking people to remain calm, and avoid unnecessary speculation. I will update you again as soon as I am in a position to do so."

The BBC reported that the Ministry of Defense has stepped up security at all the London barracks following the attack. Military personnel have been advised to be vigilant.

London's mayor, Boris Johnson, tweeted:

Reports continued to filter in from Twitter on the details of the attack:

This is the bloody video purportedly showing one of the attackers explaining his actions, via ITV:

[View the story "Did London machete attackers shout 'Allahu Akbar?' " on Storify]