by Anna Gombert
On Wednesday, March 22 around 2:40 p.m. in London, there was a deadly attack outside Parliament. An assailant drove a car into a crowd of people, injuring many and stabbed a police officer with a knife. There are a reported five deaths and over 40 other people were included. The attacker was identified as 52-year-old Khalid Masood, born in Kent, and it is believed that he acted alone.
Reports say that the car mounted the sidewalk and drove the length of the Westminster Bridge, hitting pedestrians, including three police officers. According to BBC, one woman fell off the bridge into the River Thames but was pulled to safety and given medical attention.
Hundreds of people were evacuated from Parliament, while still more were locked down in the building for nearly five hours, where politicians stayed in the House of Commons debating chamber. The New York Times reported that the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, was accompanied to a car and transported her back to her office.
The attacker then crashed the car into a railing outside Parliament, and ran through the Carriage Gates, armed with a knife. He stabbed police officer Keith Palmer, who died on the scene. A Foreign Office minister, Tobias Ellwood, tried to revive Palmer with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until the medics arrived. The attacker was then shot by police and also died on the scene.
According to CNN, acting deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and a senior counterterror police officer, Mark Rowley, made a statement that the attack was believed to be Islamist-related. Many sources reported that this attack came exactly one year after the bombing in Brussels. It was also the first terrorist attack of a large scale since the bombing of the London transportation system on July 27, 2005.
Among the dead or injured were citizens from ten different countries. These countries were South Korea, France, China, Germany, Romania, Greece, Ireland, Italy. One American, Kurt Cochran, was killed during the attack. Cochran was in London with his wife to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. His wife also sustained injuries in the attack.
In a statement after the attack, May promised she would not allow “the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart.”
photo from ABC.com