London: Man hacked to death with meat cleavers outside Woolwich army base. Terrorist?

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A man has been hacked to death and possibly beheaded in a suspected terrorist attack outside a military base in south-east London.

Key Points

  • Cleaver murder victim believed to be soldier
  • Mobile phone footage shows attacker attempting to justify attack
  • Alleged attackers shot by police
  • Witness: “They were just animals.”
  • PM David Cameron cuts short France visit

 

Eyewitnesses say two men used a car to run the victim over in broad daylight on a street about 200 metres from the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich.

The men then attacked him with knives and a gun and then remained at the scene, asking passers-by to photograph and film them.

Footage shows one of the men carrying a blood-covered knife and meat cleaver and saying to the camera: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you.”

Watch the ITV footage (warning: contains graphic images).

Armed police shot and wounded the two attackers after being called to the incident by bystanders.

There are reports the dead man was a serving soldier who was wearing a t-shirt with the logo of the Help for Heroes military charity.

Witnesses describe horror of ‘crazy’ attack

One eyewitness, identified only as James, told local radio station LBC the two assailants “were hacking at this poor guy”.

“We thought they were trying to remove organs or something.

“These two guys were crazy, they just were not there, they were just animals.”

In the footage of the aftermath of the attack, one of the attackers makes a number of political statements while the body of his victim lies in the road behind him.

Speaking in a London accent, the man, looking agitated and angry, said: “I apologise that women had to witness that, but in our lands our women have to see the same thing.

“You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don’t care about you.”

“They were just animals,” one eyewitness said.

“They then dragged the poor guy, he was obviously dead. There was no way a human could take that, what they did to him.

“They dragged him from the pavement and dumped his body in the middle of the road.”

Eyewitness Michael Atley said there was blood all over the road.

“It’s a scene out of a horror movie, to be honest,” he said. “It’s incredible, absolutely incredible, never seen nothing like it.

“Just a bad day. A bad day for the whole of Britain.”

PM Cameron rushes back from Paris, security tightened

Security is being tightened at British military bases in the wake of the attack.

Prime minister David Cameron, who rushed back from Paris to chair an emergency national security meeting, said there were “strong indications” that the killing was “a terrorist incident.”

“The police are urgently seeking the full facts about this case but there are strong indications that it is a terrorist incident,” he said from Paris.

“People in every community, I believe, will utterly condemn this attack.

“We have had these sorts of attacks before in our country and we never buckle in the face of them.”

Home secretary Theresa May said in a statement: “This is a sickening and barbaric attack.”

London mayor Boris Johnson said security would be boosted at all London barracks.

“I know that Londoners have been through terrorism before and this city has a huge resilience,” he said.

“What we also have is the best, the most professional security services and the best police in the world to protect us and they are now going to get to the bottom of what’s happened.”

Police are on alert for disturbances across London, with reports that supporters of the far-right English Defence League had clashed with police in Woolwich.

Source : ABC.net