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Sword-wielding man goes on stabbing spree after smashing vehicle into home in London, arrested

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London: A 36-year-old sword-wielding man on Tuesday smashed a vehicle into a home and then went on a stabbing spree in a “serious incident” near an east London Tube station, wounding at least five people, including two police officers, before being arrested, the Metropolitan Police said.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described it as a “shocking incident”, saying that such violence has no place on the country’s streets.

“This is a shocking incident. My thoughts are with those affected and their families. I’d like to thank the emergency services for their ongoing response, and pay tribute to the extraordinary bravery shown by police on the scene”, said Sunak.

“Such violence has no place on our streets”, he said.

The police said the incident did not “appear to be terror-related” and that at least five people, including two police officers, were injured in the Hainault area of the city and taken to hospital after being treated at the scene.

There is a police presence at the scene in Hainault, with images of a smashed van visible in a large cordoned-off area and the nearby tube station being closed down.

“This must have been a terrifying incident for those concerned. I know the wider community will be feeling shock and alarm. People will want to know what has happened and we will provide more information as soon as we can”, said Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan.

Eyewitnesses said they saw a standoff between the suspect and the police before he was tasered as he attempted to force his way into a house.

Earlier, the police and emergency services said they were called just before 7 am local time to reports of a vehicle being driven into a house at Thurlow Gardens in east London. Video footage on social media shows the bearded suspect walking around bushes with a large bladed sword after he smashed the vehicle into a home.

“We do not believe there is any ongoing threat to the wider community. We are not looking for more suspects. This incident does not appear to be terror-related”, the Met Police said.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan praised the emergency services for their quick action.

“The police and emergency services showed the best of our city – running towards danger to protect others and I thank them from the bottom of my heart,” he said in a statement.

UK Home Secretary James Cleverly said on X that he was being updated “regularly” on the incident.

“My thoughts are with those who have been affected & thank you to the emergency responders. I would urge people not to speculate or share footage online and provide relevant information to the police”, he said.

Wes Streeting, the Labour MP for the area, thanked the “heroic” police officers who put themselves in harm’s way in response to the “horrific incident”.

“My prayers are with those who’ve been injured and their loved ones. I know there will be widespread fear and alarm in our community”, he said.

(Published 30 April 2024, 09:10 IST)

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