London terror attack: World leaders show solidarity

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London terror attack: World leaders show solidarity

Leaders of countries affected by recent terror attacks have voiced solidarity with the UK after the deadly attack near the Houses of Parliament. A lone attacker was shot dead after he used a car to run down pedestrians, killing three, and stabbed a police officer to death outside Parliament.

Leaders of France and Germany, which suffered deadly vehicle attacks last year, offered the UK their support. The US president offered condolences and praised UK security forces.

Among the 20 people injured by the car on Westminster Bridge are three French schoolchildren and two Romanians. In Paris, the lights of the Eiffel Tower went out from midnight (23:00 GMT) in a tribute to the victims. President Francois Hollande expressed his “solidarity” with the British people, saying “terrorism concerns us all and France knows how the British people are suffering today”.

Emergency response workers continue to work following major incidents in Westminster Bridge area, London, 22 March 2017Image copyrightEPA
Emergency response workers continued to work at the scene into the evening

In July last year, a man drove a lorry into pedestrians in the southern French city of Nice, killing 84 people. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country saw a lorry attack in December that killed 12 people in Berlin and was also claimed by IS, said her thoughts were “with our British friends and all of the people of London”. “I want to say for Germany and its citizens: we stand firmly and resolutely by Great Britain’s side in the fight against all forms of terrorism,” she added.

US President Donald Trump spoke by phone to British Prime Minister Theresa May to offer his condolences and to praise the effective response of UK security services. Mr Trump pledged the “full co-operation and support” of the US government in bringing those responsible for the attack to justice, the White House said in a statement.

Saying his thoughts were “with London tonight”, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker recalled it was the first anniversary of the Brussels attacks.

People make the shape of a heart with their hands as they stand for a moment of silence at the Bourse during the one-year anniversary for Brussels attacks victims in Brussels, 22 MarchImage copyrightAP
People in Brussels made a heart sign with their hands to remember the victims of the attacks there a year ago

“Today marks one year since the people of Brussels and Belgium suffered a similar pain and felt the support of your sympathy and solidarity,” he said in a statement. “At this emotional time, we at the European Commission can only send that sympathy back twofold.”

In other reaction:

  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement that it was an “attack on democracies around the world” and Canadians stood “united with the British people in the fight against terrorism”
  • Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it was an “attack on parliaments, freedom and democracy everywhere” and offered his support and solidarity to the British government
  • Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said: “Horrible images from London. The very heart of the city has been struck. Our thoughts are with the British people”
  • Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova expressed sympathy for the injured and offered condolences to the relatives of those who had died, adding: “We don’t split terrorism into categories; we consider it as absolute evil. At this moment, as always, our hearts are together with the British people”

Source: BBC

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