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British police treating deadly mass stabbing as a terror attack

Multiple people wounded in attack at park. One man is in custody.

Police in Reading, England block access to a park where a mass stabbing occurred Saturday night.
ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images
Updated: June 21, 2020 - 8:12am

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A mass stabbing that killed three and injured others at a suburban London park is being treated as a terrorist attack, British police announced Sunday. 

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, Britain’s national coordinator for counterterrorism policing, has determined the Saturday night attack in the town of Reading was a terrorist incident, and Thames Valley Police are turning over the case to counterterrorism investigators, officials said. 

A 25-year-old man arrested at the scene is believed to be the lone perpetrator, police said. The suspect is a Libyan national who sought asylum in Britain, according to multiple reports in British media.

Three people were killed and multiple people injured Saturday night during the attack, which occurred a few hours after a Black Lives Matter protest ended in the park.

Disturbing video and photos of the aftermath of the attack were posted on social media, and authorities pleaded for members of the public to stay away from the park in the Foxbury Gardens section of the town where the attack occurred. Reading is an enclave west of London.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Berkshire hospital told The Guardian newspaper that several victims were brought to the facility and at least two were in critical condition.

“My thoughts are with all of those affected by the appalling incident in Reading and my thanks to the emergency services on the scene," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted.

A BLM protest had ended at the park peacefully about two hours before the attack and most of the crowds had dispersed, according to the Guardian report.

Thames Valley police said there was no indication the attack was related to the protest. "There is no indication that this incident is linked to the Black Lives Matter protest that took place in Reading today," the police said.

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