LONDON (USA TODAY) -- Two men armed with a machete, guns and other weapons
attacked and killed a bystander -- possibly a soldier -- on a street in
South London on Wednesday in what officials are treating as a
The shocking attack, captured on video
by onlookers, ended with one of the assailants, brandishing a cleaver
and a knife in his blood-soaked hands, looking into one camera to
deliver a statement filled with jihadist-rhetoric.
"We swear by
almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have
done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier
is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," he says.
attackers then waited calmly by the body in the street until police
arrived and shot both of them. The pair were hospitalized, one
reportedly in serious condition, the BBC reported.
Minister David Cameron. who cut short a visit to Paris to return to
London, called the attack "truly shocking" and said there are "strong
indications" that a brutal attack in London is terror-related.
the news conference in Paris, Cameron said "Britain has suffered
terrorist attacks before, terrorist attacks from the IRA, terrorist
attacks from Islamic extremists."
He added, "We have suffered these attacks before and we have always beaten them back."
Secretary Theresa May called a meeting of the government's emergency
response committee Cobra to assess the incident. She said she had been
briefed by Britain's domestic security service, MI5, and by police on
what she called a "sickening and barbaric" attack
The Guardian newspaper quoted
police as saying the man who died suffered knife injuries, possibly to
the head. The BBC quoted a local member of parliament as saying the dead
man was a soldier.
The attack took place in Woolrich, an area of
South London, near the Royal Artillery Barracks, which houses a number
of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and independent companies of
the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards.
On the video, broadcast by
ITV News, the attack also says in a London accent:"I apologize that
women had to witness that, but in our lands our women have to see the
same thing. You people will never be safe. Remove your Government, they
don't care about you."
A number of weapons, including a gun, knives, and a machete, were seized at the scene.
witness, identified by the BBC only as James, said two men had attacked
another man, aged about 20, who was wearing a T-shirt of military
charity Help for Heroes.
In a statement, London's Metropolitan
Police asked residents of the southeast London community to "remain
calm, and avoid unnecessary speculation" while the investigation got
Speaking to ITV News, Boris Johnson, London's mayor, described the attack as a "sickening and unforgivable act of violence."
Cassandra Vinograd and Paisley Dodds