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tv   Witness  BBC News  June 4, 2017 12:30am-1:01am BST

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rff—r‘ait .:r we: i‘e‘. “nit m; b: manages a number of different pubs and bars in that borough market area —— today. he said he had a call from a colleague at another bar saying people had been stabbed in that bar, a bar in the borough market. he went over to see what was going on. he describes people running away and screaming, he carried on thinking there was a fight going on or something and he said he saw three men, one with a red and black top, and he gave me another description, this will be slightly alarming but don't be alarmed, this is what he said, it doesn't mean it is anything in particular, but he said he saw a man who had canisters kept to his abdomen. that's one eyewitness, he may be in shock, he may not know what he was looking at but that is what he was looking at but that is what he was looking at but that is what he said to me —— taped. he said this man had a long night and he was attacking people. he saw one woman in her early 20s stabbed and she went to the ground. he said he then went to the ground. he said he then went back to his bar to try to work out what to do and then back to the
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scene with a number of security guards, he said the men were still there, he gave a number of pubs they we re there, he gave a number of pubs they were going in and out of. he said he and his colleagues tried to throw chairs at these men to stop them doing what they were doing and then he's decided to evacuate the area, the its doormat which is what he did. he was deeply shocked when he said this. we also have a woman who describes seeing the van hitting pedestrians near a bus stop, she said she saw six people injured. another eyewitness saw three guys, three men. we have that report of something at vauxhall. we have a witness saying that they saw walking wounded team ta ken witness saying that they saw walking wounded team taken to liverpool street covered in blood and bandages. to sum that up, some sort ofan bandages. to sum that up, some sort of an attack on this part of south london, this time of night on a night like this. some sort of attack using a van. as we said, three to
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four people, eyewitnesses say, attacking people in the borough market area. that is being borne out by reports we are seeing on the news wires. correspondence are saying that these are co—ordinated attack? correspondence are saying that these are co-ordinated attack? if there are co-ordinated attack? if there are three people involved and there isa are three people involved and there is a conspiracy, legally that is clear. if the eyewitnesses are correct in what they are saying then three people have planned an attack on this part of london. they planned an attack using a vehicle, that difficult attack that police find difficult attack that police find difficult to stop. they have taken knives with them and have begun to attack members of the public. we do not know the reasons behind this incident are nor any information about why it happened other than the way this account —— eyewitness
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accounts. the cordoned off the area around here must be several miles wide. i tried to cross both london bridge and southwark bridge to get here. we are to the west of the area and london bridge station which is usually very busy at this time of night, somewhere where people will be heading home after a night out. the police have that area cordoned off. a little more on reports of shootings. we have not confirmed them at the moment. we have heard reports of shootings. i think the best bet is that what witnesses are saying that that may be police shooting. none of that is confirmed and we will bring you more when we get more on that. a big operation here. the police helicopter monitoring the area from the air and we also saw a large procession of fire vehicles heading east through the city on the northern side of the
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river. all the emergency services are involved. a saw a doctor offering to help people and in need offering to help people and in need of treatment. people trying to come in and help as well as those trying to leave the area clearly distressed. thank you very much, tom. just to say that the opposition leader, jeremy corbyn, leader of the labour party has been talking about what has happened in london saying it is brutal and shocking and that the incidence are being reported out their thoughts are with their victims and their families as well. president trump has been offering help to britain saying that whatever the united states can do to assist will be that they will be there. we have been told that the prime
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minister will chair a cobra meeting, the emergency committee that c0 nve nes the emergency committee that convenes at times like this. that will take place early tomorrow morning and more information to follow. we have seen some video footage and photographs of armed police in bank station, another station in central london. witnesses tell us that they stopped trains and we re tell us that they stopped trains and were searching for someone. they had a description of the person they we re a description of the person they were looking for but after a while they released the train and reopened they released the train and reopened the station. another station caught up the station. another station caught up in this. on the line we have eric, an eyewitness to the first incident that unfolded on london bridge. thank you for waiting to talk to us, eric. where were you and what did you see? i was on the south
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side of the bridge and, literally, van was on the wrong side of the road and i thought maybe the brakes had failed because it was going quite fast. a white van with yellow stripes, one that is easy to hire. it literally just veered stripes, one that is easy to hire. it literallyjust veered to the right and people there who were trying to run away,. i then saw three people get out of the van and run three people get out of the van and ru n towards three people get out of the van and run towards the people who had merely been hit. i thought they were trying to comfort them but then they we re trying to comfort them but then they were literally kicking them and punching them, they took out knives
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and it was a rampage, really. and then they headed down towards southwark cathedral and running at people, people were in disbelief at what was happening. people were fighting back because they were being attacked by knives and the three of them decided to turn back and make their way back up the bridge. everyone wasjust and make their way back up the bridge. everyone was just staring at them and they started stabbing someone them and they started stabbing someone else and did not stop. another continued walking up the bridge. i don't know if he headed into borough market but that is when i decided to turn around and run north. all the way across the bridge there were people bleeding, trying to help each other and trying to be
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a good samaritan with everybody there who was injured. can we go back a little bit? the first report we heard from an eyewitness on london bridge said very much that people were knocked down by this van. that is not what you say, though? it happened quite fast and the van smacked into the side of the bridge and people were thrown off into the road, jumping out of the way. i don't know if they were hit from the impact but certainly afterwards three men jumped from the impact but certainly afterwards three menjumped out from the impact but certainly afterwards three men jumped out of the van and that's when they started attacking people on the road. i forgot to mention that as they headed down the stairs when they we re headed down the stairs when they were running towards people they we re were running towards people they were shouting this is for allah and i sent a video through to you guys andi i sent a video through to you guys and i am not certain if you can hear it you can definitely see the people
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screaming. as far as the van is concerned, can screaming. as far as the van is concerned , can you screaming. as far as the van is concerned, can you tell how many people were in the van, how many people were in the van, how many people got out and were connected with the stabbing that went on afterwards ? with the stabbing that went on afterwards? three people in the front of the van and as soon as the impact they got out and started to run at people with knives and randomly attacking anyone in their path. thank you very much, eric talking to us. that was an eyewitness to what was happening on london bridge. let's go through a number of lines that are dropping on the news wires. the reason may have said that this is a terrible incident unfolding in london. it is being treated as a potential act of terrorism, she is saying. let me... on that... the walking wounded,
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reported from the london bridge incident had been taken to liverpool street station where they are being treated at a nearby hotel. as you can imagine, the emergency services in all theirforms are can imagine, the emergency services in all their forms are very, very busy tonight. sometime ago the mayor of london said on social media that we should all bear with emergency services and only dial 999 if you need their help. the prime minister again saying that this is a fast moving investigation and like many people, expressing gratitude to the police and the emergency services on the scene. our thought is with those caught up in these dreadful events. she said she is getting regular updates and she can confirm that this terrible incident in london is being treated as a potential act of
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terrorism. so a lot of speculation, as is always the way, particularly on social media, about the nature of this, but we have it from the prime minister now that it is being treated as a potential act of terrorism. a bit of a clearer picture coming from eyewitnesses they are, talking notjust about picture coming from eyewitnesses they are, talking not just about a van with a driver who knocked down pedestrians on london bridge but suggesting that there were three people in the van who then got out and attacked people with knives and then ran off from the bridge. we have heard from our security correspondent that there is thought that these events are, have been co—ordinated. borough market, just seconds away from london bridge, is where the other incident was unfolding and we saw some footage of
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police are entering a bar, a restau ra nt, police are entering a bar, a restaurant, telling people to get down because of the threat in the area. other reports nearby say that men had entered a restaurant or a pub and, again, had begun attacking people with knives. these are a lot of pictures that we may have shown you before but they give you a sense of just how busy you before but they give you a sense ofjust how busy and how big the responses by the emergency services, particularly the police. all of those flashing lights. they were on the scene within a couple of minutes of being called at around one quarter past ten. —— quarter past ten. that was when the called to the incident on london bridge, not knowing what they were dealing with. paramedics were on the scene eight minutes after the first call was put in. initially eyewitnesses just
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believing that it was a man in a van who had knocked down pedestrians. it appears to be considerably more than that now. people are leaving the van and then running towards southwark cathedral to the south. people asking for a map of the area to understand seed griffey. we will try and put back together for you in full these events are very close together. vauxhall is not that far away either, also on the south side of the river but further west. my colleague greg dawson is here. greg, can you run through some of the things you have been seeing on the social media and news wires? we have not had an update from the metropolitan police for a while but they have given out information as to what is happening, to reassure the public. we have heard from the metropolitan police that marina two
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and marine three, boats that patrol the river thames, the police have said they are working with the lifeboats to evacuate the public. those people affected by the incident who we saw earlier, escorted away from the police cordon. we have also heard from the london ambulance service who say they have multiple resources responding to the incidents in the london tonight and they have also issued guidance to their staff by their twitter feed to say that those staff who volunteered to come in tonight, we have enough resources. clearly you can see how social media plays a part during an incident like this. official figures are quite useful, others not so much. there have been statements from theresa may? yes. i will read that statement issued in the last five minutes. following updates from police and security officials i can confirm
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that the terrible incident in london is being treated as a potential act of terrorism. this is a fast moving investigation and i want to express my investigation and i want to express e investigation and i want to express my huge gratitude to the police and emergency services who are on the scene. emergency services who are on the scene. our thoughts are with those caught up in the dreadful events. no great surprise, she will chair a cobra meeting, and emergency committee meeting in downing street tomorrow. there has also been a response from the president of the united states who has tweeted that whatever they can do to help out in london they will be there, we are with you, god bless. we also heard from the head of the uk opposition, the labour leader. a brutal and shocking incident reported in london, thoughts are with victims and their families. thank london, thoughts are with victims and theirfamilies. thank to london, thoughts are with victims and their families. thank to the emergency services. that message has been echoed by a number of witnesses in the london bridge and borough market area. people full of praise for the swift response of the police. our home affairs
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correspondent tom symonds joins us again. what have you been able to find out in the minutes since we last spoke? let's quickly talk about this report of shooting in the area, nothing confirmed as far as i'm aware, often official confirmation is take time to filter to where we are on the ground, we have unconfirmed reports that two people were shot in the area by police. that's unconfirmed and we will seek to get you more information on that. to give you an idea how these things are being policed at this time of heightened tension, there are specialised firearms officers trained by the metropolitan police in military style firearms tactics, that means they can do things like laying down fire to keep people who have guns, keep their heads down, they are caught counterterrorism specialist firearms officers and they are all over this part of central london
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ready to move at a moments notice. ic mehmet dalman number of them in the westminster area parked up in recent weeks. —— i've seen a number of. it will be something we will seek to get more on later. as i gave you earlier, the eyewitness i saw who described to me what appeared to bea who described to me what appeared to be a co— water naked attack using knives on the bars in the borough high street area —— co—ordinated. food stalls in borough market surrounded by bars, it's become a popular place to go out in this part of south london, the station is on the other side and at this time of night many people would have been going to the station. plus the car or van driven at people on london bridge itself, just around the corner, to give people an idea of the geography. we've also heard from
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an eyewitness since we last spoke to you and they said yes, the van drove into the wall on the bridge and people may have been hurt by that, but then three men, he saw, got out of that van and began stabbing people before running towards southwark cathedral, your direction. that helps us begin to potentially pieced together how the two incidents are connected. —— piece together. they are very close. we will get you a map to show how close these two incidents are. if the place where the van hit the people is on the southern end of london bridge then it is a few seconds' run around the corner into the borough market area and from their borough market area and from their borough market beyond that is southwark cathedral, eyewitnesses saying they ran in that direction is fitting to what we've heard. i spoke to a security manager in this area who
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looks after the security staff working in pubs and bars and he's given me the names of a number of different bars and pubs where he thinks there were attacks going on. the two are very close and that means they are very likely to be linked. i know this from talking to a colleague on a radio network a few minutes ago, the 5 live programme on—air at the moment has spoken to a man, an eyewitness, who spoke to an attacker with a red and black top, the man i spoke to agree with that, s0 the man i spoke to agree with that, so this is piecing together information that feels a bit more confirmed but the health warning stays in place, these are eyewitness reports and they can be wrong. indeed. the prime minister has gone s0 indeed. the prime minister has gone so far as to say that it is being treated as a potential act of terror and the cobra committee meets tomorrow, the emergency committee that convenes. pulka us through what will be happening there? frank gardner, our security colleague
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dominic correspondent colleague, said in the first incident police we re said in the first incident police were leading on this, not the intelligence ages sees. that's the way these things work. if this is an ongoing incident, and we don't know that's the case, but it's possible, the police will be in bold throughout —— agencies. ijust come back from manchester where police have been involved in that attack —— involved throughout the. the security services bill in the information —— fill in. if they see a vehicle on the bridge they will have a license plate and they will see have a license plate and they will see where it has come from. in the case see where it has come from. in the case of the westminster attack on parliament, very quickly there was a carand a number parliament, very quickly there was a car and a number plate that led to a higher car company and that opened up higher car company and that opened up the investigation. —— higher car. they want to know who these men are, whether there are any more out there, and clearly the government will have to consider what to do. let's talk about the threat level in
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place at the moment. after the manchester attack we went to the highest level, critical, meaning an attack was imminent, we have dropped back to severe, meaning an attack is highly likely, it's possible that the government may go to that higher level. that allows them to do things like putting more police with firearms on the streets and use the military to back up police in the job of protecting establishments around central london, which the armed police normally do to free them up to start patrolling. clearly this is a difficult incident to stop, a vehicle attack of this sort, police have trained to fire at people driving cars at pedestrians in an attempt to stop them, that was previously not the guidance police had because of a vehicle being driven by someone who has been shot and incapacitated is dangerous, that
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isa and incapacitated is dangerous, that is a recent change, we have additional specially trained firearms officers who are available and clearly all of that is coming into play as we speak in this live incident. tom, for the moment, stay with us if you would. the metropolitan police have said at 25 minutes past midnight the incidents at london bridge and borough market we re at london bridge and borough market were declared as terrorist incidents. a huge amount of speculation a couple of hours ago that this is what we were dealing with but it's always wise to wait for the authorities to say so themselves. the police in london declaring the incidents at london bridge and borough market are terrorist incidents. there were three incidents that the armed police have been dealing with. there was another issue at vauxhall, but the police now saying that was not connected to these other two. tom,
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we have that confirmation, notjust a potential act of terrorism but that's how the police are treating them? we are struggling to hear tom. we will come back to tom in a moment when we have sorted out the sound, he is having to move around quite a lot as you can imagine. so there we have it, police confirming on their twitter account at 25 past midnight local time that the incidents at london bridge and borough market have been declared as terrorist incidents. one witness had a view above the north side of london bridge where there appears to be a body being attended to by police. a warning, you may find parts of this very short sequence distressing. that ties in with the statement from
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police sometime ago that there was at least one fatality and a number of injuries following that incident on london bridge, which began at 1045,10115pm on london bridge, which began at 1045, 10:15pm local time, around two and three quarters hours ago, a van veering into people on a bridge, knocking people over, and subsequently we have heard from an eyewitness on the bridge at the time that three people were in the van and they jumped out that three people were in the van and theyjumped out with knives and began stabbing people. our home
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affairs correspondent tom symonds is still with us. tom, we were saying right at the outset before we knew about a lot of the detail that this was horribly reminiscent of the attack on westminster bridge a few months ago, but that took place in the meal of the day? tom, just one second, we can't hear you at the moment. let me stop you and start again. can you hear me? we can, you carry on. there are a lot of broadcasters in this area and we are using similar frequencies so that's why i cut out. the timing is releva nt why i cut out. the timing is relevant here, in manchester there isa relevant here, in manchester there is a massive investigation going on to the bombing at the manchester arena. anybody planning an attack like this is going to know that investigation is ongoing and that makes it more likely there's going to be an attack like the one that
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happened down the road here, we saw that in the 7/7 attacks 12 years ago. we saw two attacks two weeks apart so the police and security services and government would have been on standby for something like this. this is very different to the manchester attack, which was a bomb, and showed some level of technical expertise to put the device together. this is a much more basic attack, a van being driven at people, eyewitnesses have told us, and then armed men armed with knives running out having done that first aid to attack people in what we think our bars and cafes around the borough market area —— first stage. that is a much different, much more unsophisticated sort of attack when you compare it with what happened in manchester. i don't want to speculate too much but it suggests a different set of attackers to anybody involved in the manchester attack, this is london, not manchester, and a different methodology but the security services and police will be looking
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at identifying these people, that can be quite easy. in the manchester attack, the bomber, salman abedi, was identified within two hours by his body, we think, forensics officers went to the scene and identified him within two hours. it may well be something going on right now as we may well be something going on right now as we speak, forensics officers moving into the scene in borough market, if that's where the attackers are, and we have one unconfirmed report that at least one man was shot by police, at least two men unconfirmed shot by police, they will try to identify them, trying to work out where the van came from and then trying to work out who is connected to the attackers. it's a basic policing operation, the police and security services have foiled more than a dozen plots, some of them will have been like this, this is the sort of investigation they are doing a lot of these days and it will swing into action as we speak. let's clarify there was an incident at vauxhall, a stabbing there, but
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police are saying it was not connected. the two location is very close together, london bridge and where you are, borough market, they are the focus now of these incidents which are being treated as terrorist acts. these are some of the pictures that have been coming into us over the last couple of hours of the sheer scale of the operation, how quickly the police and emergency services have responded. tom, sadly the police have got a very well drilled response to this, they know how quickly they need to respond, but a lot of people paying tribute to the speed at which they got out and managed to get to these locations? yeah. let's be clear, the police are trained to deal with exactly this sort of incident. i've been briefed by senior officers on the firearms side of policing to have briefed us on the sheer numbers of counterterrorism specialist firearms officers, those specifically trained to deal with
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this sort of incident. it used to be police were trained to approach a suspect and try to pull them out of any kind of incident and not use any kind of military tactics. what officers are now trying to do is use more types of incidents... techniques that the military might use. they have much more powerful weapons these days. they are trained to deal with cars that are moving. previously, as i said earlier, the guidance to officers was not to try to shoot at vehicles because an unguided vehicle is a dangerous weapon, that has changed since the westminster attack. i'm going to step aside because we have a convoy of police cars coming through here, i want to have a quick look at what's going on here. there's obviously a lot of cars going backwards and forwards and we obviously... we may get moved so just to warn you, that may happen in the near future. we will come back to you very soon, tom symonds, our
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home affairs correspondent in southwark just south of home affairs correspondent in southwarkjust south of london bridge, the first place the incident unfolded. hello. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting on bbc one in the uk and on bbc world news. a major incident is taking place in london tonight with reports of multiple casualties in different locations. armed police have closed a major bridge after a vehicle swerved off the road hitting a number of pedestrians. police there say there has been more than one fatality. officers then responded to reports of stabbings nearby and shots were fired. the first incident happened at london bridge, one of the major arteries between the north and the south of the city. the reported stabbings took place in borough market which is nearby. the british prime minister, theresa may, has described the incidents in london as potential act so of

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