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London Attacks: ‘It Was Utter Horror’

The attack on the bridge, soon followed by reports of stabbings at a nearby night life district, came as Britain was still reeling from the bombing at an Ariana Grande concert last month in Manchester, which took the lives of 22 people, including children and teenagers.

But while the Manchester attack appeared to have been carried out by a lone bomber, Saturday night’s violence was the work of at least three people, officials said Sunday morning, as the assailants drove from the bridge to Borough Market, where the police fatally shot them. In addition to the three attackers, six people were killed, and at least 30 injured.

Video from a crowded bar near the bridge showed patrons in a cavernous space being ordered to the ground by police officers and huddling under tables to protect themselves.

The Novotel London Tower Bridge hotel was evacuated shortly after the attack. Alarms inside the hotel rang out, and members of the staff went door-to-door telling guests to get out.

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How the Attacks in London Unfolded

Three attackers drove a white van into pedestrians on the London Bridge on Saturday night before stabbing people at nearby Borough Market.

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Dozens of panicked guests sprinted across Southwark Bridge, many of them in their dressing gowns. Children were crying, and guests were huddled up, waiting in the cold.

“I was asleep and didn’t even know anything was going on until the alarm went off and we were told to evacuate the hotel immediately,” said Emily Sutton, who was sitting on a bench wrapped in a duvet.

“When we got out there were police and sirens everywhere,” she said. “People running and screaming. It was utter horror. This is a nightmare.”

As was the case after the Manchester blast, panic gripped the scene of the attack, with controlled explosions set off by the police only adding to fears. People worried that more attackers could be on the loose.

“This is a complete nightmare, we are stuck here while there are maniacs on the loose and nobody is helping us,” said Danny Farre, as she walked down the street, carrying her 9-year-old daughter on her shoulders. “They could be anywhere, this is out of control.”

Les Hunter, 33, from Liverpool, was visiting a friend in London. When he stepped outside from a pub at about 10:15 p.m., “we saw people running out of Borough Market and straight after heard gunshots,” he said.

“We went back into the pub and people starting running in telling us to get down and hide,” he recalled. “I ran up to the gents and hid, but when I looked out the window I saw a guy with blood all over his face and T-shirt.”

After the attack, helicopters hovered over the London Bridge area. The area has been a center for entertainment and carousing for centuries — dating back to Geoffrey Chaucer — a watering hole where Londoners have gathered to drink and pass the time.

But inside the security cordon early Sunday morning, the streets and back alleys around London Bridge were eerily deserted.

Source: NYT > World

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