June 5 (UPI) — British authorities on Monday identified two men who were shot dead by police in the minutes following a terrorist assault on London Bridge over the weekend.
Seven people were killed in the assault, which occurred Saturday when three masked men drove a van into pedestrians on the bridge before jumping out and stabbing people at random. The men continued the assault into the adjacent Borough Market area, officials said.
London’s Metropolitan Police on Monday released the names and photographs of two of the men. They were identified as Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane, both residents of London. Butt, Redouane and a third man were all shot dead by police within minutes of the attack.
Nearly 50 others were injured. Most still remain hospitalized — 18 of whom are in critical condition.
Butt, 27, was born in Pakistan and Redouane, 30, claimed to be Moroccan and Libyan. Police were trying to determine the third suspect’s identity.
“The investigation into this horrific attack is fast moving and complex as we piece together a fuller picture of what occurred,” the Metropolitan Police said in a news release Monday. “So far, officers have arrested 12 people — seven women and five men — and searched six properties. One of the arrested men and one of the women were subsequently released.”
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The attack happened about a week after another apparent terrorist strike at the Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert. The Islamic State has claimed credit for both attacks.
“At any one time MI5 and police are conducting around 500 active investigations, involving 3,000 subjects of interest,” Metropolitan Police Asst. Commissioner Mark Rowley said. “Additionally, there are around 20,000 individuals who are former subjects of interest, whose risk remains subject to review by MI5 and its partners.
“The security and intelligence services and police have stopped 18 plots since 2013, including five since the Westminster attack two months ago.”
Security has been increased at London hospitals, but the National Health Service said services were operating as normal. The first victim named in Saturday’s attack was Canadian citizen Christine Archibald, 30. The second, James McMullan, 32, was from the London suburb of Hackney.
Earlier Monday, officials began installing barriers on various bridges to protect pedestrians. The barriers, made of concrete and metal, were placed on Lambeth Bridge, London Bridge, Waterloo Bridge — as well as Westminster Bridge, where a terror suspect carried out a similar plot in March. Suspect Khalid Masood killed a police officer before he was shot dead.
“The police and our partners are doing everything we can across the country to help prevent further attacks and protect the public from harm,” Rowley said.
Nickie Aiken, leader of Westminster Council, said she believes the Westminster Bridge barriers should be permanent installations.
“People in Westminster need this kind of protective measure — it is sensible and proportionate,” she said. “We are working closely with the Metropolitan police and security services and are happy to assist on measures like planning and traffic management … The kind of security barrier now in place on Westminster Bridge needs to be part of a permanent solution.”