(CBSNEWS/AP) – Seven people were killed and at least 48 others were injured in a terror attack in London. The attack, which Britain’s Metropolitan Police described as a “protracted incident,” began when a vehicle struck pedestrians on the London Bridge and concluded at the nearby Borough Market, where the suspects attempted to stab multiple people.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has claimed responsibility for the attack on Saturday, according to a security source to Aamaq agency. It says “a unit of Islamic State Fighters carried out London attacks yesterday.”
Police first received reports that a vehicle struck pedestrians on the iconic London Bridge around 10 p.m., Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said. Holly Jones, a BBC reporter who was on the bridge at the time of the attack, said it appeared the vehicle was driving “about 50 miles per hour” before striking the pedestrians. A witness said she saw a white van veer into people.
“He swerved right round me and then hit about five or six people. He hit about two people in front of me and then three behind,” Jones told BBC News.
The vehicle then continued to nearby Borough Market, where the suspects left the vehicle and attempted to stab a number of people. Borough Market is an area in London known for its restaurants and bars. Packed with people enjoying the summer night, the area around London Bridge and Borough Market soon turned to chaos and panic.
According to Rowley, within eight minutes police had been dispatched, confronted the three male suspects, and shot them. The suspects were shot and killed in Borough Market.
One of the first responders, a British Transport officer, was among the wounded, suffering stab wounds to his face, head and leg after confronting the three suspects. He was armed only with his baton.
British Transport Police Chief Constable Paul Crowther visited the officer in the hospital and said the wounded officer was in stable condition, adding “for an officer who only joined us less than two years ago, the bravery he showed was outstanding and makes me extremely proud.”
More than 80 medics were sent to the scene. London Ambulance Service said 48 people were taken to several area hospitals.