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Footage from deadly London attack shows police, attackers

LONDON — Dramatic video footage released Thursday captures the moment when armed police swooped into a busy market area near London Bridge on Saturday night and shot dead three attackers who had just left a trail of bloodshed, killing eight people and wounding scores.

The surveillance camera footage shows the first police car rolling forward as the attackers lunge at a man to stab him during the late night attacks. Within minutes, the attackers are shot dead and another police car arrives as people are seen running for their lives.

During the confrontation, passers-by can be seen throwing objects at the attackers before the last victim is shown stumbling away. Shortly later, the lifeless bodies of the attackers are seen on the pavement. Some 48 rounds were fired to stop the attack within eight minutes.

As investigators hunted for potential accomplices linked to the three attackers on Thursday, voters cast ballots in a British general election that has spotlighted security concerns.

Police briefly closed off an area of London near the busy Charing Cross train station after a suspicious package was found. The Metropolitan Police said the package was not terror-related. Security patrols have been boosted throughout London.

Saturday’s attack was the third such deadly incident in England in just three months.

Police raids

Police also raided several properties in east London on Wednesday and Thursday. Six men were arrested — three in connection to London Bridge attack. One of the arrests included a man who allegedly worked out at the same gym as 27-year-old Khurum Butt, thought to be the attack ringleader. The two other attackers were named as 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba and 30-year-old Rachid Redouane.

Butt, once seen in a documentary called “The Jihadis Next Door,” had been repeatedly reported to police for his violent behavior and reports from a neighbor who said he was trying to lure young kids to radical Islam. His name had also been flagged in 2015 by F.B.I. informant Jesse Morton who told authorities he had met Butt in an extremist internet chatroom used by Anjem Choudary, one of Europe’s most prolific hate preachers who was jailed last year for his support of the Islamic State group, according to a British government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the ongoing attack investigation.

Born in Pakistan, Butt’s family in Britain released a statement on Wednesday apologizing for his actions. Relatives in Pakistan, meanwhile, said he had brought shame on to the family.

The Italian mother of Zaghba, whose father was Moroccan, said Wednesday that her son had become radicalized in Britain after falling in with the wrong group of friends. Italian authorities alerted their British counterparts after he bought a one-way ticket to Turkey. He had said he wanted to go to Syria to start a family, according to his mother.

Redouane, a Moroccan pastry chef who had married a British woman and lived in Ireland for some time, was the only one of the three attackers who had not come onto British security’s radar.

London’s Borough Market remained sealed off Thursday with only a scattering of businesses opening nearby. The market was unlikely to open before Sunday, according to police.

One of the businesses to re-open was Leon. On the night of the attack, staff pretended to lock the doors in a move that was thought to protect 20 customers inside. One customer outside the shop was stabbed several times in the neck.

“Some of the people who were here on Saturday night are still a bit fragile,” said John Vincent, the CEO and founder of Leon. “Some people who weren’t here on Saturday night have got this whole guilt thing going on that they weren’t here to be supportive to their colleagues.”

Continuing investigation

As detectives searched for clues in Saturday’s attack, the investigation continued into last month’s Manchester arena suicide bombing that killed 22 people and injured scores.

A Libyan counterterrorism official said Thursday that the brother of the Manchester arena suicide bomber knew he was planning something, and that his radicalization took root when he was living in the city in 2015.

Libyan counterterrorism official Ahmed bin Salem said that Salman Abedi’s younger brother Hashim was still being held for questioning in Libya. Abedi’s father, who allegedly belonged to an al-Qaida backed militant group, was also being held in Libya.

Bin Salem said there were no apparent links between Abedi and the London Bridge attackers.

Meanwhile, Britain’s counter-terror chiefs said they are launching a major drive to train festival workers in the wake of the three deadly attacks.

The measures were announced as the summer music season gets into full swing. The Glastonbury music and arts festival starts this month.

 

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