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2 London police officers remain hospitalized after confronting sword-wielding suspect

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LONDON (AP) — Two London police officers remained hospitalized Wednesday, a day after suffering “horrifically serious” injuries as they rushed to stop a sword-wielding attacker on a suburban street, the city’s police chief said.

Details about the attack, in which a teenager was killed, emerged a day before London voters go to the polls to elect their mayor and local council members after a campaign where crime and trust in the capital’s police force were major issues.

Commissioner Mark Rowley, who leads the Metropolitan Police Service, applauded his officers for running toward the danger as they responded in the northeastern London suburb of Hainault early Tuesday. Daniel Anjorin, 14, was killed in the attack and four people were injured, including the two police officers.

Rowley told LBC Radio that the two officers suffered serious arm and hand injuries as they confronted the suspect. A female officer faces “a long journey of recovery” after surgeons spent hours “basically putting her arm back together,” he said.

Rowley didn’t contradict press reports that the officer nearly lost her hand.

“That’s not a million miles away,” he said. “I mean it’s really horrifically serious injuries.”

Officers subdued a 36-year-old man at the scene and arrested him on suspicion of murder. Police haven’t released any information about what led to the incident, though they said it doesn’t appear to be an act of terrorism.

Police said the rampage began when the suspect crashed his van into a building and attacked a 33-year-old man, injuring him in the neck. The suspect then entered a nearby property, where a 35-year-old man suffered cuts to his arm.

From there he attacked Anjorin.

Officers arrived on the scene 12 minutes after receiving the first call and the suspect was detained 10 minutes later, Rowley said.

Police initially tried to subdue the suspect with a chemical irritant spray and a taser, but these had little effect and he went on to attack the two officers who were seriously injured, the department said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

The suspect was finally detained about two blocks from the site of the crash, where he was surrounded by other officers who used a taser to overpower him, police said.

The suspect was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for injuries suffered when the van he was driving struck a building. Officers were unable to interview him on Tuesday because of his injuries.

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