Two British police officers have suffered minor injuries as they arrested a man carrying a knife outside Buckingham Palace.
In a separate incident, Belgian soldiers have shot dead a man in the centre of Brussels after he came at them with a knife shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great), in a case authorities are treating as a terrorist attack.
In the first attack on Friday night in London, a man was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and assault on police near to Queen Elizabeth’s London residence.
The officers did not need to be treated at hospital after the attack as police and emergency services cordoned off the streets outside the palace.
Police said it was too early to say whether the incident was terrorism-related.
Meanwhile, a 30-year-old Belgian of Somali origin died after running at soldiers on patrol with a knife in an attack near Brussel’s central pedestrian zone.
The case passed from local to federal prosecutors, who typically handle terrorist cases.
A spokeswoman for the prosecution service said they were treating the case as one of attempted terrorist murder. The man was not known for terrorist activities.
Brussels mayor Philip Close said the alert status, already just one off the maximum level, had not been increased.
“Initial indications are … that it is an isolated attack, a single person,” Close told reporters beside a street blocked by police.
The soldiers were not seriously hurt in the attack with one receiving a wound to his face and the other with a wound to his hand.
An eyewitness in the London attack, Kiana Williamson, said she saw police officers trying to wrestle a man out of a car that had stopped near the palace, one of the city’s main tourist attractions and the London home of Queen Elizabeth 11.
In less than a minute, “the man had been restrained and looked almost unconscious by the side of the road,” she said.
Buckingham Palace "in lockdown after man w/sword attacks officer.". This comes an hour after 2 soldiers attacked w/ knife in Brussels
— Nick Short 🇺🇸 (@PoliticalShort) August 25, 2017
The Queen usually spends August in Scotland at her Balmoral estate with family members.
Buckingham Palace, which is surrounded by tall gates, has seen past security breaches. Last year, a man convicted of murder climbed a wall while the queen was at home, and was detained in the grounds.
In 1982, an intruder managed to sneak into the Queen’s private chambers while she was in bed. Queen Elizabeth spent 10 minutes chatting with him before calling for help.
A spokeswoman said the palace did not comment on security issues.
Soldiers routinely patrol the streets of the Belgian capital due to a heightened security alert level after Islamist shooting and bomb attacks in Paris in 2015 and Brussels in 2016.
In June, troops shot dead a suspected suicide bomber at Brussels’ central train station.
Authorities treated the incident as an attempted terrorist attack.
— with agencies