British police have already declared Reading stabbings terrorism

British police said later on Sunday they were treating a stabbing spree in which a lone assailant killed three people in a park in the southern English city of Reading as a "terrorism incident", news wires reported.

"Counter Terrorism Policing can now confirm that the stabbing incident that happened in Reading last night (20/6), has now been declared a terrorist incident," Thames Valley Police said in a statement.

Police officers arrested a 25-year-old local man at the scene and they said they were not looking for anyone else. According the British media the man arrested was Libyan. Police did not confirm that or release the suspect’s name.

The violence erupted around 7pm as families and friends were enjoying a warm, sunny evening in the Forbury Gardens park in Reading, a town of about 200,000 residents 64 kilometres west of London.  Witnesses reported that police cars and helicopters descended on the park. Within minutes police had blocked off several roads, and two air ambulances landed nearby. Personal trainer Lawrence Wort said the park was full of groups socialising on the grass when “one lone person walked through, suddenly shouted some unintelligible words and went around a large group of around 10, trying to stab them”.

“He stabbed three of them, severely in the neck, and under the arms, and then turned and started running towards me, and we turned and started running,” Wort said. “When he realised that he couldn’t catch us, he tried to stab another group. He got one person in the back of the neck and then when he realised everyone was starting to run, he ran out the park.” Police said that “a number of people were injured and taken to hospital. Tragically, three of these people died, and another three sustained serious injuries”.

The incident came hours after a Black Lives Matter demonstration at Forbury Gardens, but police said there was no connection between the attack and the protest.

 

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