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Londoners shocked as news of new UK terror attack comes through
Londoners out on the town of on Saturday night were shocked and disorientated as news came through that three men had driven a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and launched a knife attack in nearby Borough Market. The capital was placed under security lockdown.
“When is it going to stop?” Anne asked her husband, less than an hour after reports of an "incident" began to emerge.
The couple were out visiting friends when they heard news that a van had rammed into pedestrians on London Bridge while others had been stabbed in nearby Borough market.
“It’s like the Westminster attack all over again,” said the 47-year-old, in reference to the March attack which saw attacker Khalid Masoud mow down six people and injure 50 others.
At around 11.00pm BST, details of the UK's latest tragedy were still few and far between, right down to simple travel instructions.
“We’ve had to go back to Shadwell station because all the exits at Bank are closed,” said Chris with a note of frustration in his voice. “You’d think they would have told us.”
Out on the streets of the capital confusion was high.
Police cordon of bridges
Night revelers were left to walk home after police cordoned off London and Southwark Bridge with a 400-metre cordon.
Crowds formed at bus stops, as taxi after taxi came and went.
Nicholas was at a wedding when he first heard the reports.
“I tried to get out early because I knew it would be chaos getting home.”
He was right. As we were talking, two police officers approached the bus stop on Bishop’s Gate high street and order all the passengers to find alternative means of getting home.
A stabbing had also been reported in the Vauxhall area. But police later said this was not connected to the attack at London Bridge and Borough Market.
“I understand they have a job to do," Nicholas said. "But we have to get home.”
He had been waiting for his bus for over an hour, only to learn now that no bus will come.
“In incidents like this we just needed to be given clearer information, and we just don’t seem to be able to get that. We just get pieces of information and that’s not good enough.”
Muslims disown attacks
Elsewhere, taxi drivers like Abdelaziz were worried about what might come next.
“I feel like I have to tell everyone getting on board that I’m a Muslim to show them that this horrific, disgusting attack is not the Islam I grew up with," he explained.
The attackers' identities are still unknown, as Britain's Counter Terrorism Command investigates how two more attacks were allowed to happen, so soon after the Manchester arena bombing.
“There’s going to be a backlash it’s inevitable," Abdelaziz went on. “Something’s got to be done, but I don’t have the solution for it.”