21 still in critical condition after London attack

LONDON — The UK’s National Health Service on Sunday said that 21 people injured in the fatal terror attack in London remain in critical condition.

On Sunday, British Prime Minister Theresa May paid a private visit to some of the victims of the terror attack at King’s College Hospital, which is caring for 14 of the 48 people hospitalized after the Saturday night car-ramming and knife attacks on London Bridge and at nearby restaurants in Borough Market.

At least one person was wounded after being shot by police trying to thwart the attack, London’s Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Rowley said during a news conference on Sunday.

Rowley said the injured civilian’s injuries are not believed to be critical and there will be an independent investigation.

Seven people were also killed by the three attackers, who were shot dead by police officers at the scene.

Also on Sunday, British police arrested a dozen people in connection to the attack.

A person, on ground, being detained by police at Elizabeth Fry apartments in Barking, East London, which officers raided Sunday June 4, 2017, following Saturday's terror attack at London Bridge and Borough Market. (Furqan Nabi/PA via AP)

The major political parties suspended campaigning in the country’s general election for the day, but May said the vote would take place as scheduled on Thursday, because “violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process.”

The assault unfolded over a few terrifying minutes Saturday, starting when a van veered off the road and barreled into pedestrians on busy London Bridge. Three men fled the van with large knives and attacked people at bars and restaurants in nearby Borough Market, police and witnesses said.

“They went ‘this is for Allah’ and they had a woman on the floor, they were stabbing her,” said witness Gerard Vowls.

Romanian chef Florin Morariu, who works in the Bread Ahead bakery, said he saw people running, and some fainting, and then two people approach another and “began to stick the knife in … and then I froze and I didn’t know what to do.”

He said he managed to get near one attacker “and I hit him around the head” with a bread basket.

“There was a car with a loudspeaker saying ‘go, go’ and they (police) threw a grenade…. and then I ran,” he said.

An armed police officer looks through his weapon on London Bridge in London, June 3, 2017. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

London’s Metropolitan Police said armed officers fatally shot the attackers within eight minutes. The force said the men were wearing what looked like suicide vests that turned out to be fake.

Emergency officials said 48 people, including two police officers, were treated at hospitals across London. Some suffered life-threatening injuries. French and Spanish citizens were among the wounded.

The death toll of seven didn’t include the three attackers.

Police said counterterrorism officers raided several addresses in Barking, an east London suburb, and arrested 12 people there Sunday morning in connection with the attack. Neighbors at the site of one major raid in Barking said a man who lived there resembled one of the attackers shown in news photographs.

“He’s lived here for about three years,” resident Damien Pettit said. “He’s one of our neighbors. I’ve said hello in passing more than 50, 60 occasions. He has two young kids. He was a very nice guy.”

A police officer stands on duty outside a building in East Ham, London, on June 4, 2017, following a raid as police continue their investigations into the June 3 terror attacks in central London. (AFP Photo/Justin Tallis)

The rampage was the third major attack in Britain in the past three months, including a similar vehicle and knife attack on Westminster Bridge in March that left five people dead.

On May 22, a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured dozens at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, in northwest England. Grande and other stars are scheduled to perform a benefit concert for victims under tight security in Manchester Sunday night.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the Manchester bombing, but there hasn’t yet been a claim of responsibility for the London attack, which the prime minister linked to Islamic extremism.

May said the attacks weren’t directly connected, but that “terrorism breeds terrorism” and attackers copy one another. She said five credible plots have been disrupted since March.

“It is time to say, enough is enough,” she said.

Britain’s official terrorism threat level was raised from “severe” to “critical” after the Manchester attack, meaning an attack may be imminent. Several days later it was lowered again to “severe,” meaning an attack is highly likely.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Sunday that the level would remain at severe because police believe there are no perpetrators still on the loose.

A person (C) is led away at an address in Barking, East London, during a police operation Sunday June 4, 2017, following Saturday night's terrorist incident at London Bridge. (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)

Rowley, the Metropolitan Police head of counterterrorism, said that while police believe all the attackers were killed, the investigation is expanding.

“We believe three people were involved, but we still have got some more inquiries to do to be 100 percent confident in that,” he said.

A large area on the south bank of the River Thames remained cordoned off Sunday, and police told people to avoid the area. London Bridge and the adjacent train station, as well as nearby Borough subway station, were still closed.

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