Police tapes off Parliament Square after reports of loud bangs today in London. Photo by Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

4 dead, 20 wounded in attack near UK Parliament

One woman has died and a number of others have been hurt – including some with “catastrophic” injuries – in the incident on Westminster Bridge, a junior doctor at St Thomas’ Hospital has said.

Four people are dead and another 20 wounded in Wednesday’s incident outside the British Parliament, said Mark Rowley, Metropolitan Police’s counterterrorism head in London. The casualties include the suspect and one police officer.

Police also said, currently, only one assailant was thought to be behind today’s terror incident, “but it would be foolish to be overconfident early on,” Rowley told reporters.

Prime Minister Theresa May called the incident a “sick and depraved terrorist attack.”

“The location of this attack was no accident,” she added. “The terrorists chose to strike at the heart of our Capital City, where people of all nationalities, religions and cultures come together to celebrate the values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech.”

The official casualty count came after Metropolitan police commander B.J. Harrington said the attack outside Parliament was declared a terrorist incident and that a counterterrorism investigation was underway.

Metropolitan police tweeted earlier today that authorities responded to reports of a “firearms incident” at the Westminster Bridge outside Parliament at around 2:40 p.m. local time.

Several witnesses said a car struck a number of people on the bridge before crashing into the gates around the Palace of Westminster, The Guardian reported. More accounts said they saw a man, armed with a knife, stab a police officer. Authorities later confirmed that the assailant was shot by police. The sequence of events are not yet immediately clear.

“We were just walking up to the station and there was a loud bang and a guy, someone, crashed a car and took some pedestrians out,” witness Rick Longley told the Press Association, adding that he saw a man stab an officer outside Parliament.

Parliament in London was on lockdown, following several initial reports of an incident nearby the building. Nearly two hours after the incident, people were allowed to leave the Houses of Parliament, the Associated Press reported.

Previously, authorities said they were “treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise” and that the suspect has been shot by police. May said the attacker was shot dead.

Shortly after reports of the incident emerged, David Liddington, leader of the House of Commons, told AP that police shot a man at Parliament, adding that there were “reports of further violent incidents in the vicinity.”

Before an official toll was provided by police, the London Ambulance Service said at least 10 people have been treated by their response crews.

This is a developing story. PBS NewsHour will update the story with more details as they become available.

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