A man armed with a knife and wearing a “hoax” explosive device has been shot dead by police after a stabbing incident in south London.
Two people have been injured during the stabbing – one seriously – in the London suburb of Streatham. It’s suspected that the 20-year-old man attacked both people on Sunday (local time), but his motives remain unclear.
Authorities have described the case as terrorism-related, but are confident it remains an isolated incident.
Local news reports said the man had been released from prison a week before after serving part of a three-year sentence for “Islamist-related terrorism offences”.
He was reportedly under active surveillance by a counter-terrorism operation when the two pedestrians were stabbed in Streatham, around eight kilometres from central London.
#INCIDENT A man has been shot by armed officers in #Streatham. At this stage it is believed a number of people have been stabbed. The circumstances are being assessed; the incident has been declared as terrorist-related. Please follow @metpoliceuk for updates
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) February 2, 2020
Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Lucy D’Orsi said officers quickly responded to the attack and killed the suspect around 2pm on Sunday (local time). The man was wearing a device strapped to his chest, D’Orsi said, which was later found to be fake.
“Officers from our Counter Terrorism Command are investigating at pace. We are also liaising and co-operating with the Independent Office of Police Conduct as they conduct their necessary inquiries,” she said.
“The suspect has not yet been formally identified; however, given the circumstance of the incident, we are confident that he was Sudesh Amman, aged 20.”
Three people in total were injured in the confrontation, with one man hospitalised with “life-threatening” injuries, according to the police.
A woman was wounded but later discharged from hospital, while another suffered minor injuries believed to be have been caused by glass following the discharge of police firearms.
The Metropolitan Police urged “common sense” and “restraint” when circulating information regarding the Streatham incident, including images of officers involved.
Their reiterated pleas followed the circulation of a slew of unsubstantiated claims and rumours across social media in response to the stabbing.
British PM, London Mayor praise emergency services response
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, released a statement thanking emergency workers.
“A man has been shot dead by armed police in Streatham following an incident that is being treated as terrorism-related. A number of people are believed to have been stabbed,” he said.
“I am in close contact with the Met Commissioner and local representatives, and want to thank our police, security and emergency services staff for their swift and courageous response.”
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) February 2, 2020
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also thanked emergency services staff.
“Thank you to all emergency services responding to the incident in Streatham, which the police have now declared as terrorism-related,” Johnson said. “My thoughts are with the injured and all those affected.”
No Australians are believed to have been affected by the Streatham incident, a spokesperson from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) told Travel Weekly.
Australia’s High Commission in London has made urgent inquiries to local authorities regarding the stabbing incident in Streatham, south London,” the spokesperson said. “DFAT is not aware at this stage of any Australians being affected by the incident.”
Travel advice for Australians to UK remains at Level 1, with DFAT currently advising travellers “exercise normal safety precautions”.