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Mayor says investigation into London attack is underway

March 22, 21:16 UTC+3 LONDON

Police continue sealing off downtown areas in London after a terrorist act on Westminster Bridge and shooting near the Houses of Parliament

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© Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP

LONDON, March 22. /TASS/. An urgent investigation into the terrorist attack that hit London on Wednesday is underway, the city’s Mayor Sadiq Khan wrote on Twitter. 

"There has been a serious incident near to Parliament Square this afternoon which is being treated as a terrorist attack until the police know otherwise," Khan said. "I have spoken to the Acting Commissioner. The Metropolitan Police Service is dealing with the incident and an urgent investigation is underway."

"My thoughts are with those affected and their families," the mayor said in his statement, thanking the police and emergency services.

The British police have launched a probe into the terrorist attack in central London, which has left at least two people dead, according to preliminary reports. Shooting was reported near the Houses of Parliament earlier and several people were injured. A policeman died after being stabbed at the Houses of Parliament.

Separately, a car hit people on London’s Westminster Bridge, injuring at least five, the BBC said.

Police continued sealing off downtown areas in London after Wednesday's terrorist act, a TASS reporter was escorted by the police en route from the Houses of Parliament to the nearby Westminster Abbey said in an eyewitness report.

City streets, usually crowded with the hurrying Londoners and tourists, were starkly empty. Dozens of police cars were standing by with rooftop lights on. Police officers in fatigues and armed to the teeth could be seen nearby.

Paliament square, near which a criminal had opened gunfire, and the Westminster Bridge where a car had rammed into a crowd of people were desolate.

Hundreds of people trapped inside the Westminster Palace at the time of the terrorist act have been evacuated to a safe place. Right now they are staying inside St Peter's Church in Westminster Abbey. Members of the House of the Commons, peers, school students who were doing tours of the parliament building, Westminster Palace attendants and a group of foreign correspondents including the TASS correspondent were among those transferred to the abbey.

Police refrained from any specifications as regards how long thw emergency situation might last.

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