In less than three months, five deadly terrorist attacks, or at least suspected attacks, have taken place in the United Kingdom — hitherto considered one of the safest countries in Europe.
Most of the incidents have occurred in London, the UK capital being governed, for the first time in history, by a Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan.
Below are the details of the attacks so far:
On March 22, 2017, Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old Briton, drove a car into pedestrians on the pavement along the south side of Westminster Bridge, close to the British Parliament.
After the car crashed into a perimeter fence, the attacker ran into the New Palace Yard where he fatally stabbed an unarmed police officer.
He was then shot by an armed police officer and died at the scene. In all, six persons, including Masood, were killed.
THE ’22’ ATTACK IN MANCHESTER
Exactly two months after the Westminster attack, a suicide bomber detonated a homemade bomb at the exit of Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, following a concert by American singer Ariana Grande.
This particular attack had the figure 22 written all over it. The day was May 22; the attacker, Salman Ramadan Abedi, was a 22-year-old Brit of Libyan descent; and the number of casualties was 22, excluding the bomber.
One hundred and nineteen others were injured in the attack, 23 critically.
LONDON BRIDGE ATTACK
On Saturday, June 10, a white van ran through pedestrians on London Bridge, in the centre of London, at about 10 pm.
When the vehicle stopped, three men – later identified as Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba – got out and embarked on a stabbing spree, attacking people in the nearby Borough Market.
They were however shot dead by the Met Police eight minutes after an emergency call was put through.
Eight people, including the attackers, were killed and at least 48 people injured.
GRENFELL TOWER FIRE???
The Grenfell Tower fire occurred on June 14 2017 at a 24-storeyed building of public housing flats in North Kensington, West London, England.
Official death toll in the fire outbreak was initially put at 30 but the Metropolitan Police has said that 79 people are missing and presumed dead, with five of the dead so far formally identified. The toll is expected to rise in the coming days.
It was not clear yet what caused the fire, though some reports have attributed it to a faulty refrigerator belonging to one of the residents of the tower.
However, authorities said a detailed investigation was underway, adding that nothing – including terrorism – has been ruled out. Could this be a case of terrorism as well? Question!
FINSBURY MOSQUE ATTACK
In the wee hours of Monday, June 19, 2017, a 48-year-old man drove a van into pedestrians near the Finsbury Park Mosque in London.
One man was killed in the incident and eight people were injured. The attacker was arrested by the police but his identity is yet to be made public.
Prime Minister Theresa May said the police were treating the case as “suspected terror attack”.