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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 8 December, 2019
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UK terror threat level raised to 'critical' following London tube explosion

This evening, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Updated at 9.15pm

Parsons Green incident Source: Andrew Matthews via PA Images

BRITAIN HAS RAISED its national threat level to maximum following a bomb on a London Underground train earlier today.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said troops would be deployed to key locations.

The terror threat has been raised from ‘severe’ to ‘critical’, meaning an attack is expected imminently after the explosion on the packed morning train left 29 people injured, she announced.

“The public will see more armed police on the transport network and on our streets providing extra protection. This is a proportionate and sensible step which will provide extra reassurance and protection while the investigation progresses,” May said this evening.

The incident happened at about 8.20am at the Parsons Green tube station on the District line.

This evening, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

“The bombing on a metro in London was carried out by a detachment of the Islamic State group,” it said in a statement published by its Amaq propaganda agency.

https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/908774827120484352

London Metropolitan Police earlier today declared it a terrorist incident and have this evening said they are making “excellent progress at the moment” as they pursue lines of enquiries “to identify, to locate and to arrest those responsible”.

“This is a very complex investigation which has continued at speed with the full weight of London’s counter-terrorism police resources, assisted by colleagues in the country and intelligence agencies such as MI5,” Met Police’s AC Mark Rowley told reporters.

https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/908784175573901312

“We have hundreds of police officers trawling through CCTV footage, detectives have spoken to tens of witnesses and we’ve taken a large number of calls from members of the public,” he said.

Meanwhile, the improvised explosive device on the train, the remnants of it have now been made safe and they’ve been taken away for specialist examination.

“During the course of the day there has been some uninformed speculation on social media and from journalists and I’d like to emphasise that that is unhelpful.”

Knife incident 

In another incident this evening, Acton Town tube station closed after commuters reported seeing a man with a knife.

Acton Central Police said that two officers stopped a male identified on the tube with a knife.

“We are sorry that trans had to be delayed but I think most people will realise that this could not be ignored,” they said on Twitter.

No Irish injured in tube attack

Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said that he is not aware of any Irish citizens being injured in the incident.

https://twitter.com/simoncoveney/status/908633048547303424

Several images and a video shared by people at the scene have shown a bag carrying a white container on fire in one of the carriages.

One eyewitness who was on the tube train told Sky News that he felt a shunt and saw “the remnants of a flash” before people began to run and stampede.

https://twitter.com/RRigs/status/908594792816349184

Reaction

President Donald Trump sparked anger in London and yet another pointed rebuke from Theresa May after he claimed “loser terrorists” were behind the attack were known to British police.

Trump took to Twitter to condemn an attack 28 people but also appeared to suggest that British authorities had dropped the ball.

“Another attack in London by a loser terrorist,” the US president tweeted.

“These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!” Trump added.

That online broadside brought a terse public response from May, who warned the US president and others not to speculate.

“I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation,” May told journalists in London.

Trump’s latest comments were described as “unhelpful” by London’s Metropolitan Police, as well as by Nick Timothy, May’s former chief of staff.

“True or not – and I’m sure he doesn’t know – this is so unhelpful from leader of our ally and intelligence partner,” Timothy wrote on Twitter.

After his tweets, and with ties apparently under strain, Trump spoke with May to convey “his sympathies and prayers” for victims of the London attack, the White House said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said that the Parsons Green attack was “an attempt by evil and cowardly individuals to kill, to injure and to disrupt our way of life”.

He thanked London’s emergency services for their prompt response and said thankfully there weren’t any life-threatening injuries.

With reporting by Ronan Duffy and AFP. 

Read: ‘There is so much anger and so much deep upset’: Public inquiry opens into Grenfell Tower blaze > 

Read: Police release new image of jogger who pushed woman into path of bus >

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