The Latest On London Bridge Attack
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
SADIQ KHAN: I'm appalled and furious that these cowardly terrorists would deliberately target innocent Londoners and bystanders enjoying their Saturday night.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
That's London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, reacting on CNN this morning to an attack in the British capital that left seven dead and dozens wounded. That doesn't include the three attackers who were shot and killed less than 10 minutes after the first report of their spree. London police said this morning that 12 people have been arrested so far in raids. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley is in London, and she joins us now. Eleanor, tell us more about what happened last night.
ELEANOR BEARDSLEY, BYLINE: Well, Lulu, it was a warm sort of beginning of summer evening in a very popular area of London. And on the London Bridge, a van just plowed into pedestrians, you know, going up on the sidewalk. After that, the three men got out and went to a popular neighborhood just by the bridge and began stabbing people. And one witness says they stabbed a girl, like, 10 times. The police shot the three men dead. And they were all wearing fake suicide vests.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The U.K.'s prime minister, Theresa May, has spoken this morning from 10 Downing St. And she's been in emergency meetings today. What has been the reaction from officials there?
BEARDSLEY: Well, she wants a review of the country's anti-terrorism strategy. She says there's an evil ideology out there of Islamist extremism. There's been far too much tolerance of it. She just wants the country to be far more robust about calling it out, you know, pointing to what is this extremist Islamist ideology.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is a crucial time for Theresa May. It's just days before national elections in the U.K. But those are moving ahead?
BEARDSLEY: Yes, Lulu, the elections are moving ahead as planned on Thursday. But the conservative and the Labour parties have both called off campaigning for today. However, the nationalist independent party, UKIP, says it will go ahead and campaign because, you know, stopping the Democratic process is exactly what these Islamist terrorists people want. And they say we refuse to bow to that.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, this attack comes in the wake of the Manchester concert bombing some two weeks ago. There was another attack that began on another bridge, Westminster Bridge, in March. Has the reaction to this attack been different?
BEARDSLEY: Well, I'm feeling a difference. I was here, actually, last weekend in Manchester. And I was here in March when the man stabbed people on Westminster Bridge and it plowed into people. This time people say it's a little bit too much. I spoke with an accountant, Sanjay Pathek. I met him, actually, in the London Underground, the metro. And here's what he said to me. He said we're going to try to live normally, but...
SANJAY PATHEK: It is worrying. I don't know what to say. I think you have to be vigilant, as well. I mean, I'm a Londoner. And, you know, I use the trains. I'm actually thinking of cycling now and not using the underground because I think the undergrounds are a threat as well. But, hey, life goes on.
BEARDSLEY: Now, Lulu, I'm out now in downtown London in Oxford Circus, which is a big shopping district. And there are a lot of people, but people say less than usual. And people are aware. They're wary of what's around them. They're trying to continue normally. But they say they do feel a little bit different this time. It's just happening too often.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: NPR's Eleanor Beardsley in London. Thank you so much.
BEARDSLEY: You're welcome, Lulu.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.