Two men, one wielding a large knife and a meat cleaver, reportedly hacked to death a London man on Wednesday in what British officials are describing as a terror attack.
Scant details have emerged so far, but the victim is believed to have been a British solider. Police shot and wounded the suspected attackers shortly after the assault.
British Prime Minister David Cameron called the attack "appalling," adding, "There are strong indications that it is a terrorist incident."
"We've had this sort of attack before in our country, and we never buckle in the face of them," he said.
According to The Associated Press, government officials cited "radical Islam" as a possible motivation.
BREAKING: 2 UK govt officials: London attack appears to be motivated by radical Islam. -SS— The Associated Press (@AP) May 22, 2013
According to the Telegraph, witnesses said the men shouted, "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great"), before falling on the victim.
Cameron, who was in Brussels meeting with European leaders, ordered Britain's top security officials to convene an emergency meeting Wednesday evening to discuss the attack, and said he would cut his trip short to attend a second meeting tomorrow.
Home Secretary Theresa May called the attack "sickening and barbaric," and said both the suspected attackers were receiving treatment for injuries. It was not immediately clear what condition those men were in.
ITV News obtained a video of a bloodied man holding a machete and a cleaver while a body lay crumpled in the street behind him. Approaching the camera, the man said:
We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reasons we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for tooth. 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.
A man calling himself a witness provided this account to the BBC:
Basically two men carried out an axe attack on a young army cadet walking along the street, by the looks of things the police responded and then shot them in front of the public, at the same time I couldn't really tell if the cadet was fatally or not hurt as police were crowded around him.
Below, video of one of the suspected attackers from ITV News video. (WARNING: Graphic)
And here, a picture of the other alleged attacker being confronted by a civilian:
My mum is a motherfucking badass twitter.com/SiibillamLaw/s…— Basil Baradaran (@SiibillamLaw) May 22, 2013
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- George W. Bush 'ran the country like a cable network,' and other political insights from Chris Rock
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How Wall Street is chipping away at reform
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- 10 things you need to know today: December 21, 2014
- How I lost all my money
- The age of miracles is over — even for the religious
Subscribe to the Week