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London: Boy dies after man attacks people, police with sword

Published April 30, 2024last updated April 30, 2024

A man wielding a sword attacked members of the public and two police officers in East London. A boy later died of his wounds. Police said after that a suspect was in custody and no others were thought to be at large.

Several police and other emergncy services vehicles gathered in the East London community of Hainault, near the scene of the attack on April 30, 2024. Police tape also cordons off the road, with an officer stood next to it.
Police said they believed they were dealing with a single suspect whose motives did not appear terror-relatedImage: Peter Kingdom/AP/picture alliance

London police said on Tuesday that they were not treating an incident of a man crashing a car into a building and then attacking people and police with a sword as terrorism-related. 

He was arrested soon after. 

A 14-year-old boy wounded in the attack later succumbed to his injuries in hospital, police said a few hours after the attack.

The London Ambulance Service said paramedics treated five people and took them to hospital.

"This must have been a terrifying incident for those concerned," Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan said. He said he knew the community would want more information and that police would provide it as soon as possible. 

In the shorter term, he indicated investigators believed the danger to have passed.

"We are not looking for more suspects. This incident does not appear to be terror-related," he said. 

Police at the scene in Hainault, north east London, after reports of several people being stabbed at a Tube station.
Access to some streets in the area and an Underground station was restricted as police respondedImage: Jordan Pettitt/empics/picture alliance

Local politicians hail police response, warn against speculation

Local MP Wes Streeting was among officials the first to raise the alarm online, saying that a critical incident had been declared in part of his constituency in East London. He noted subway station and road closures in response. 

London Tube is the world's oldest subway

Streeting later issued a statement thanking law enforcement and "particularly the heroic Metropolitan Police Officers who put themselves in harm's way to protect others." 

"They are the best of us," Streeting said. 

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, meanwhile, said he remained in "constant contact with the [police] commissioner." 

Khan also thanked law enforcement for "running towards danger to protect others." 

He urged people "not to speculate until the details of this incident are confirmed by police and not to post footage on social media." 

Hainault is a large suburban housing estate in Ilford in the Redbridge borough of East London. It's home to around 13,000 people, according to census data from 2011. 

The area in London where police say a man wielding a sword attacked members of the public and two police officers on Tuesday, April 30, 2024 in the east London community of Hainault before being arrested.
London politicians praised police for putting themselves in harm's way to halt the attackImage: Peter Kingdom/AP/picture alliance

 msh/wd (AP, Reuters)