News World Australian woman stabbed in neck during London terror attack

Australian woman stabbed in neck during London terror attack

Australian Candice Hedge was injured in the attack. Photo: Facebook
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What we know:

  • A van ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge, then knifemen got out and started stabbing people
  • At least seven innocent people are dead and 48 injured
  • Up to three Australians have been involved in the attack
  • The three attackers were shot dead within eight minutes of first emergency call
  • At least 48 patients taken to six hospitals, 21 are in a critical condition
  • Police arrest 12 people in Barking, east London
  • Islamic State has claimed responsibility

Brisbane woman Candice Hedge was reportedly sharing a meal with her boyfriend before a London Bridge attacker attempted to cut her throat Saturday night UK time.

British police have arrested 12 people in east London in connection with the terror attack that left seven people dead and 48 injured, including up to three Australians.

Three men, shouting “this is for Allah” launched the van and knife attack on London Bridge and at nearby Borough Market just after 10pm on Saturday local time.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

One of the Australians injured, 30-year-old Ms Hedge, was reportedly stabbed in the neck with a 12-inch (30-centimetre) knife.

A witness to her attack said one of the terrorists cut her throat while she was trying to hide under a table.

“The girl was bleeding massively, but she was conscious … there was a lot of blood, and it was clear on the neck, which was scary,” he told Channel Nine.

Ms Hedge wrote to reassure friends from a London hospital.

“Hey everyone, just so you know I’m doing ok. Bit of pain but I will survive. Thanks for your thoughts and well wishes. Love to all,” She said in a Facebook post.

Eyewitness accounts of the London attack
In pictures: London reels from latest terror attack

A second Australian victim was reportedly Andrew Morrison from Darwin.

In a video posted on Reddit, Mr Morrison with a blood-stained cloth wrapped around his neck, said he was stabbed after leaving Belushi’s bar in London Bridge.

“All of a sudden this guy comes up with a knife .. I push him off. I walk into a pub and say ‘Someone help me, I’ve been stabbed’,” he said on the video.

Mr Morrison said he was reluctant to say it, but said his attacker looked like “a Muslim terrorist”.

It was his last night in London before he was due to fly home.

Andrew Morrison
Andrew Morrison is reportedly on his way home to Australia after receiving treatment. Photo: Facebook

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said officials are making inquiries about a third Australian caught up in the attack.

“We’re still making enquiries in respect to the circumstances of the third Australian,” Ms Bishop told ABC radio on Monday, after speaking to High Commissioner Alexander Downer.

New Zealander Oliver Dowling is recovering after being stabbed in the face and stomach.

Canadian homeless shelter worker Christine Archibald has become the first person identified as being killed in the attack.

Her family, from Castlegar, British Colombia, released a statement through the Canadian Government describing her as a “beautiful, loving daughter and sister”.

Ms Hedge was eating a meal with her boyfriend when an attacker came up behind her and slashed her neck.

Of the injured, 21 are in a critical condition, UK hospital authorities said.

BBC political reporter Laura Kuenssberg quoted a UK government source as saying the increase in terror threats to Britain were on an “unprecedented scale”.

Quick and deadly response

Police shot the terrorists dead within eight minutes of the violence erupting.

More than 50 shots were fired in the standoff, with one bystander reportedly injured in the crossfire.

Police have confirmed that four officers were injured in the attack, including an off-duty policeman who attempted to intervene in the stabbings.

Authorities say they will release the names of the three men who killed seven people in London “as soon as operationally possible”, adding that searches are continuing in four properties.

A British Transport Police officer seriously injured in the attack has been hailed for his “outstanding” bravery.

Armed only with a baton, the unnamed officer tackled the attackers and suffered injuries to his head, face and leg.

Following raids on Sunday, UK police confirmed they had made 12 arrests, seven of whom were women, ranging from age 19 to 60.

All but one were arrested at the same property in Barking in London’s east.

“Officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command have this morning, Sunday 4 June, arrested 12 people in Barking, east London, in connection with last night’s incidents in London Bridge and the Borough Market area,” London’s Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement.

“Searches of a number of addresses in Barking are continuing.”


‘Enough is enough’: Theresa May condemns attack

British Prime Minister Theresa May has described the terror attack as part of a new trend of terrorism, saying “the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism” needs to be defeated.

Ms May said the latest attack – the third in Britain in as many months – was not connected to previous attacks in Westminster and Manchester, but that they were all part of the same trend.

“Five credible plots have been disrupted since March. We are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face as terrorism breeds terrorism,” she said.

“Perpetrators are inspired to attack by copying one another and often using the crudest means of attack.

“We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are.”

Ms May used the address to declare she would take new action to stamp out terrorism, outlining “four important ways” she intended to do so.

She urged governments to work together to regulate cyberspace and curb extremism online, calling out “big companies for allowing the ideology the safe space to breathe”.

Ms May wants globally co-ordinated regulation of the internet and said there had been far too much tolerance of extremism in the UK.

She said military intervention alone would not defeat the ideology and it would only be quashed “when we turn people’s minds away from this violence”.

Theresa May
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the media in response to Saturday night’’s London terror attack. Photo: Getty

UK election to continue despite attack

Ms May also confirmed the UK election would go ahead on June 8 despite the attack.

Several political parties, including Ms May’s Conservatives and the main opposition Labour Party, suspended campaigning on Sunday, but Ms May said it would resume on Monday.

“As a mark of respect the two political parties have suspended our national campaigns for today, but violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process, so those campaigns will resume in full tomorrow and the general election will go ahead as planned on Thursday.”

Ms May chaired a meeting of the Government’s emergency response committee COBRA before addressing the media from 10 Downing street.

Turnbull stands by ally

The Australian PM declared the nation’s “absolute solidarity” with Britain.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she spoke to UK High Commissioner Alexander Downer shortly after reports of the emergency.

“We have conveyed our condolences to the UK government through our officials,” Mr Turnbull said in a subsequent statement.

The PM said he had received briefings from the Counter Terrorism Co-ordinator, the Director General of Security and the deputy AFP commissioner, and had also spoken to Mr Downer.

“Australians should be reassured that our agencies are today, as every day, working relentlessly to keep Australians safe,” he added.

Trump’s Twitter storm

US President Donald Trump posted a number of tweets in the aftermath of the attack – supporting Britain, justifying his Muslim travel ban, defending US gun laws and, bizarrely, attacking London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

After Mr Khan told Londoners not to be alarmed by an increased police presence in the capital, Mr Trump responded angrily, writing: “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!”

A spokesman for Mr Khan called the President’s response “ill-informed”.
“Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. There’s no reason to be alarmed,” Mr Khan’s original statement said.

If any Australians are concerned about family and friends and unable to contact them they should call 1300 555 135 or +61 2 6261 3305 if overseas, DFAT said.

– With agencies

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