Czechs, responding to attacks, plan more police

Quick work by London police praised for preventing more deaths

LONDON — The latest on the attacks in the London Bridge area (all times local):

1:35 p.m.

The Czech government has approved a plan to reinforce the country’s police forces following a wave of terror attacks in Britain and elsewhere in Europe.

Interior Minister Milan Chovanec says the long-term plan is meant for police to be able to face “new security threats such is terrorism.”

One of the plan’s goals is to increase the number of officers by 10 per cent from 40,000 to 44,000.

Prime Minister Boshuslav Sobotka said on Monday the reinforcement should also help boost security at the country’s nuclear plants and improve police capabilities in the fight against cybercrime.

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1:10 p.m.

Neighbours of one of the dead suspects in the London Bridge attacks say he was trying to radicalize young people, and that they reported him to police.

Jibril Palomba said he and his wife worried because the man, whom they knew as Abu Mohammed and recognized in photos of the attack, gave their children candy and preached about Islam. Erica Gasparri said she also saw him and two other men proselytizing outside a school.

Another neighbour, Michael Mimbo, said the van later used to ram pedestrians on the bridge was blocking the road at the suspect’s housing complex on Friday. The next day, Mimbo says that same van sped erratically down the street.

Police have not released the names of the three attackers who killed seven people before being shot to death.

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1:00 p.m.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Police Commissioner Cressida Dick have toured the site of the London Bridge attack and praised the quick police work that they said prevented further deaths. Dick said Monday the attack was “ghastly” but that Londoners are pulling together and refusing to be cowed by terrorists.

She said providing more firearms for London police would not be a sound solution to the increased tempo of terrorist attacks, saying the strategy of heavily armed, highly mobile specialty teams is effective.

The mayor and the commissioner were briefly heckled by a man who called for more police to be put on the streets

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11:45 a.m.

Prime Minister Theresa May says she supports the “shoot to kill” policy used by London police in responding to terror attacks.

May says police saved “countless lives” by killing the three London bridge attackers within eight minutes on Saturday night.

May says police counter-terrorism resources are well-funded despite cuts to police staffing levels. She has been criticized for staff cuts during her tenure as Home Secretary.

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11:40 a.m.

Prime Minister Theresa May says Britain must do “more, much more” to fight Islamic extremism. She called it “an evil ideology” that perverts Islam and perverts the truth.

May said Monday Britain will review its counter-terrorism strategy and consider extending prison terms. She said more must be done to combat “bigotry and hatred.”

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11:10 a.m.

Prime Minister Theresa May says police have identified all the London Bridge attackers and that 11 people remain in custody for possible connections to the attack.

One person has been released without charge. Police raids are continuing.

May said Monday the police and counter-terrorism operations are adequately funded and staffed and that the official threat level is to remain at “severe,” meaning an attack in highly likely.

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9:45 a.m.

Commuters and cyclists were back on the streets of south London Monday morning, elbowing past journalists and camera crews on Southwark Bridge Road’s narrow sidewalks.

A commuter, Martin Howells, said things were calm but not unusually so. Standing near a lamp post smashed in the attack, he said: “It was really not different, it was surprisingly normal.”

Farhad Ahmad and Hazik Rahman, two members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, said they had been out since dawn answering questions from locals and reporters about Islam.

Ahmad, a 25-year-old imam, said he came at 6 o’clock. He said: “We’ve spoken to seven to eight people. We feel that a lot of people do have questions in their minds.”

His companion, Rahman, wore a blue hoodie with the words “Muslims for Humanity.”

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9:35 a.m.

Spain’s Interior minister says that a 39 year-old Spaniard is missing after confronting one of the assailants in Saturday’s deadly attack in central London.

Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido says Ignacio Echeverria, a London-based banker, who was last seen in the vicinity of Borough Market. Zoido says friends and relatives say Echeverria had confronted a man who stabbed a woman.

Interviewed by Cadena Ser radio on Monday, Zoido asked relatives of the Spaniard to keep calm because many of the wounded during Saturday’s attack are still being identified.

The Foreign Ministry said Sunday that another man from Spain was being treated in a London hospital for non-critical wounds.

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7:30 a.m.

London police have raided raid two addresses and detained “a number” of people suspected of some connection to the Saturday night car attack and knife rampage on London Bridge. Seven people were killed by the three attackers, and 21 remain in critical condition.

Following Monday’s dawn raids, lone local resident tweeted: “It woke me up along with the whole street. Extremely loud bangs followed by gunshot bangs. All ok – very shaken residents nearby though.”

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5:00 a.m.

Australia’s prime minister says up to four Australians were victims of the van and knife attacks on London Bridge and in London’s Borough Market.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says two Australians who both were stabbed in the neck are recovering. Candice Hedge is being treated in St. Thomas’ Hospital and Andrew Morrison received stitches and was on his way home to Australia.

He says the government has “very real concerns” about another two Australians. Turnbull would give no details about their circumstances.

He told reporters: “We have been in touch with their families” as Australian authorities try to confirm the status of the two people.

Hedge was working as a waitress and was stabbed as she tried to hide under a table. Morrison was stabbed while leaving a bar where he watched the Champions League soccer final.

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4:00 a.m.

The Canadian woman who was among the seven people killed was struck by the van on the London Bridge.

The sister of Christine Archibald’s fiance said in a Facebook message to The Associated Press that the two were on the bridge when Archibald was hit.

Cassie Ferguson Rowe says her brother, Tyler Ferguson, held her and she died in his arms. She was 30.

The Archibald family said earlier in a statement that she worked in a homeless shelter until she moved Europe to be with her fiance.

Her family in Castlegar, British Columbia, says Archibald “would have had no understanding of the callous cruelty that caused her death.”

They asked those who want to honour her to volunteer their time or donate to a homeless shelter and to tell them “Chrissy sent you”

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12:18 a.m.

Australia’s foreign minister says three Australians have been injured in the knife attacks at London Bridge and in London’s Borough Market.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says Candice Hedge is recovering in St. Thomas’ Hospital and Andrew Morrison had received stitches for a wound and was on his way home to Australia. Both had been stabbed in the neck. The government is still making inquiries into the third Australian’s condition.

Hedge, a 34-year-old waitress, has been living in Britain for about a year and was working in the Borough Markets area where witnesses say she was stabbed as she tried to hide under a table.

She posted on social media: “Hey everyone, just so you know im doing ok. Bit of pain but I will survive.”

Morrison, an electrician from Darwin, posted on social media that he had been stabbed leaving Belushi’s London Bridge bar after watching the Champions League soccer final.

Morrison said in a video: “All of a sudden this guy comes up with a knife. I just, like, push him off. I walk into a pub and I’m like: ‘Someone help me, I’ve just been stabbed.’ “

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10:45 p.m.

The SITE Intelligence Group says Islamic State’s news agency is claiming fighters for the extremist group carried out the van and knife attack in London that left seven people dead.

SITE said in a statement Sunday that the Islamic State’s Aamaq news service cited “a security source” in the Arabic-language posting claiming the attack.

Islamic State has often made such claims not just when it has sent attackers, but when extremists carrying out deadly plots were inspired by the group’s ideology.

It’s the third attack this year that Islamic State has claimed in Britain, after the bombing in Manchester and a similar attack in the heart of London in March.

The three attackers in Saturday’s attack have not been identified.

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10:30 p.m.

A Canadian woman who was among the seven people killed in the London van and knife attacks has been identified by her family as Christine Archibald.

The Archibald family said in a statement released by the Canadian government on Sunday she worked in a homeless shelter until she moved to Europe to be with her fiance.

Her family in Castlegar, British Columbia, says Archibald “would have had no understanding of the callous cruelty that caused her death.”

They say she was 30 years old.

They asked those who want to honour her to volunteer their time or donate to a homeless shelter and to tell them “Chrissy sent you. “

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10:25 p.m.

The city of London is convening a public vigil for the seven people killed in the van and knife attack on London Bridge and at nearby restaurants.

A statement from Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office said the vigil will be held at 6 p.m. local time on Monday at Potters Fields Park, an open space which surrounds City Hall on the River Thames near Tower Bridge.

The mayor’s office says the gathering is an opportunity for Londoners and visitors “to come together in solidarity to remember those who have lost their lives in Saturday’s attack, to express sympathy with their families and loved ones and to show the world that we stand united in the face of those who seek to harm us and our way of life.”

The invitation issued by Khan’s office says the vigil also is meant to show “We will never let these cowards win and we will never be cowed by terrorism.”


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