(London Bridge attack) Seven women among dozen arrested

World | 5 Jun 2017 9:35 am

British police arrested a dozen people yesterday in a widening terrorism investigation after attackers using a van and large knives turned a balmy evening of nightlife into a bloodbath and killed seven people in the heart of London. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility. 

Seven of the arrested suspects were women. Those detained were aged between 19 and 60, reports from London say.

Although the attackers were also dead, authorities raced to determine whether they had accomplices, and Prime Minister Theresa May warned that the country faced a new threat from copycat attacks. 

The country's major political parties temporarily suspended campaigning with only days to go before the general election. May said the vote would take place as scheduled Thursday because "violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process.'' 

Counterterrorism officers raided several addresses in Barking, an east London suburb, and arrested 12 people, police said. 

Neighbors at the site of one raid in Barking said a man who lived there resembled one of the attackers shown in news photographs. 

"He's lived here for about three years,'' Damien Pettit said. "He's one of our neighbors. I've said hello in passing more than 50, 60 occasions. He has two young kids. He was a very nice guy.'' 

Armed officers also conducted a raid in the East Ham area of the city. Video showed police shouting at someone: "Get on the balcony. Stand up and show us your hands!'' -AP/The Standard

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