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U.K. Police Arrest 7 After Attack Outside Parliament

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Police officers near the cordoned off Westminster Bridge in London on Thursday morning, the day after a deadly attack believed to have been carried out by a lone assailant. Credit Darren Staples/Reuters

LONDON — A day after one of the worst terrorist attacks in Britain in more than a decade, the police said on Thursday that they had detained seven people across the country and that the assailant appeared to have acted alone, inspired by international terrorism.

Mark Rowley, the assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said that officers had searched six addresses in London, in Birmingham and elsewhere in the country.

In the attack on Wednesday, a knife-wielding assailant drove his vehicle over pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and stabbed a police constable, Keith Palmer, 48, in a deadly assault. At least four people, including the assailant, were killed, and about 40 others were wounded.

As questions continued to swirl over the assailant’s identity and whether he was part of a wider network, Mr. Rowley declined to release more information.

“We still believe that the attacker acted alone and was inspired by international terrorism,” he told reporters. “I will continue to ask that the name of the attacker not be published at this sensitive time of investigation.”

He did not say if the assailant was a British citizen.

Mr. Rowley said that a large crime scene remained near Parliament, where the attack took place, and that the police would be sifting through CCTV footage as well as video evidence taken by witnesses.

He said that the investigation was focused on the assailant’s motive, the extent to which it was premeditated and who his associates were.

Unsurprisingly for a multicultural city like London, there were several nationalities among the victims, Mr. Rowley said. He appealed for calm, saying, “We must not allow terrorists to sow discord and fear in our city.”

Source: NYT > World

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