UK Police Nab Suspected Knifeman near Parliament

Pictures from the scene showed the man on the ground with an officer pointing a gun at him.

2 min read
Police officers detain a man outside the Palace of Westminster, in central London. (Photo: Reuters)

The British police on Friday detained a man on suspicion of carrying a knife after he ran, shouting, towards one of the gates of the Westminster parliament in central London.

“The man – aged in his 30’s – was arrested,” the police said. A witness at the scene said that the man ran towards one of the parliament gates where a militant killed a policeman less than three months ago. Bradley Allen, 19, said:

You could tell he was suspicious, he stood there with fists clenched. He looked quite an angry geezer. We got seconds down the road and they had him on the floor, pinned. Police around him, telling everyone to move back.

The incident occurred less than three months since a man drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, and then stabbed a policeman to death in the grounds of parliament, the first of the three deadly attacks in Britain which has put the security services on high alert.

Another witness near parliament on Friday said that he saw police threatening to use a stun gun on the man. Pictures from the scene showed the man on the ground with an officer pointing a gun at him.

"There were about three or four policeman, one of them shouting at the crowd to get back," the witness, who declined to give their name, told Reuters. The witness added:

The guy was on the ground on his front on the pavement alongside Parliament Square. They had him on the ground and were warning they would taze (stun) him again.

Officers later put the man in the back of a police van, a Reuters reporter said. Parliament said it was aware of the incident. The gates to parliament were closed and armed police were patrolling as usual inside the perimeter.

On 22 March, Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing four people, before he ran into the grounds of parliament and stabbed a police officer to death. He was shot dead at the scene and his attack prompted a review of security around Westminster.

That attack was followed by a suicide bombing in Manchester and a similar deadly attack on London Bridge, thrusting security and policing to the fore of campaigning before last Thursday’s election.

The spate of recent attacks were the deadliest in Britain since four British Islamist suicide bombers killed 52 people on the London transport system in July 2005.

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