Large-scale investigation underway into public murder of British soldier
LONDON, May 23 (RAPSI) - Assistant Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police Simon Byrne announced Wednesday that a major investigation is underway in connection with a brutal machete attack carried out Wednesday in the south London district of Woolwich, and called on local citizens to assist in the effort by submitting photographic or video evidence taken at the scene.
The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday that an off-duty British soldier was killed by two men armed with meat cleavers. The two men reportedly shouted "Allah Akhbar," meaning "God is great," during the attack.
Local news station ITV aired footage depicting one of the attackers, still wielding a meat cleaver, his hands drenched in blood, as he bellowed into the camera: "You people will never be safe."
In a Metropolitan Police press release issued Thursday, Byrne explained: "The investigation into the shocking murder of a serving soldier yesterday is ongoing, and is of course a major investigation for us."
On Wednesday, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe announced that a murder investigation had been launched under the guidance of the Counter Terrorism Command. He added: "It is hard to comprehend the shocking and horrific scenes we have seen this afternoon on a busy street as Londoners went about their day as normal."
British Prime Minister David Cameron issued a statement from Paris Wednesday evening announced that the two individuals wounded by police on the scene were being treated as suspects in the case. He then vowed that there would be a comprehensive effort by relevant police and security agencies to collect all available information on what he dubbed a "sickening and barbaric attack."
Home Secretary Theresa May announced that security has been increased in all London army barracks, noting: "We have seen terrorism on the streets of Britain before, and have always stood firm against it. Despicable acts like these will not go unpunished."