The Latest: Pope Francis Sends Prayers To London Victims

(AP) — The latest on the attack outside Britain’s Parliament (all times local):

12 p.m.

Pope Francis is sending prayers and solidarity to victims of the London attack.

In a telegram of condolence, Francis said he was “deeply saddened” to learn of the “tragedy” in central London on Wednesday.

He said he was praying for “divine strength and peace” for the families of the injured and dead.


11:35 p.m.

The world’s largest body of Islamic nations and the Saudi king have condemned the attack in London, saying they reject such acts of terrorism.

Yousef Bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, who heads the Saudi-headquartered organization, said acts of terrorism contradict the fundamentals of Islam. The OIC is comprised of 57 Muslim-majority countries from around the world.

Meanwhile the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, described the attack as “a terrible crime that is incompatible with all values and principles of humanity.”

The Saudi Press Agency reports that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman sent a cable of condolences to British Prime Minister Theresa May in which he says the kingdom “strongly condemns this terrorist act.” London is a popular destination for thousands of Saudi and Arab Gulf tourists.


11:20 a.m.

Spanish politicians gathered on parliament’s steps in Madrid for a minute’s silence for the victims of the attack in in London, among them a British national with Spanish ancestry.

At the same hour, officials and residents of the northwestern town of Betanzos stood in silence in memory of 43-year-old Aysha Frade, one of the attack victims and whose mother was born in the town.

In a note on its Facebook page, the town hall said that “Aysha was the daughter of a Betanzos resident and was linked by family and emotionally to our town.”

Betanzos declared three days of mourning for the victims.

Flags at the town hall and the parliament building were flown at half-staff.


11:15 a.m.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman has condemned the attack outside Britain’s Parliament, according to the official IRNA news agency.

Bahram Ghasemi expressed his sympathy with the bereaved families of the victims.

Ghasemi underlined that Iran invites all countries to form a coalition and foster cooperation aimed at tackling terrorism. He added that terrorism is not limited to geographical boundaries.


11:10 a.m.

A 26-year-old Portuguese man was among the injured when a man plowed into pedestrians with an SUV on London’s Westminster Bridge.

Francisco Lopes told Portuguese channel TVI that he heard shouts behind him as he walked across the bridge and when he turned around he was struck by the vehicle which had mounted the sidewalk.

He said he lost consciousness and woke up wracked with pain. He sustained cuts on a knee and a hand but was released from Chelsea-Westminster hospital after treatment. “I was lucky,” said Lopes, who lives in London with his mother.

Portuguese authorities confirmed that consular officials provided assistance to Lopes.


11 a.m.

Britain’s prime minister says people from 11 countries were hospitalized after the attack outside Parliament.

Theresa May said that 12 Britons, 3 French, 2 Romanians, 4 South Koreans, 1 German, 1 Pole, 1 Irish, 1 Chinese, 1 Italian, 1 American and two Greeks required hospital treatment. Police earlier said that seven of the 29 who are hospitalized are in critical condition.

A knife-wielding attacker driving an SUV mowed down pedestrians, killing two on Westminster Bridge before breaching Parliament’s grounds and fatally stabbing a police officer. The attacker was then shot dead by police.


10:45 a.m.

Prime Minister Theresa May says “millions of acts of normality” are the best response to terrorism.

In the House of Commons, May saluted the “everyday actions” of “millions people … going about their days and getting on with their lives.”

Though streets around Parliament are cordoned off, the vast majority of London is open and bustling as usual. Parliament resumed sitting Thursday, less than 24 hours after the attack.

May says the resolve of ordinary people shows “our values will prevail.”


10:40 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says police know the identity of the British-born man who went on a car and gun rampage at Parliament.

May says he was once investigated for extremist links but was considered a peripheral figure. She didn’t disclose his name.

May says police believe the man acted alone and there is no reason to believe “imminent further attacks” are planned.


10:35 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has delivered a defiant message after a deadly attack, saying “we are not afraid.”

May has told lawmakers in the House of Commons that “yesterday an act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy, but today we meet as normal.”

She called the car and knife rampage that killed three victims “an attack on free people everywhere.”


10:30 a.m.

France’s foreign minister says three French teenagers hospitalized after the attack outside London’s Parliament are not in life-threatening condition.

Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, after visiting the victims in London, said democratic nations should not be cowed by this kind of attack.

“We must say no to those who want to kill our democracy,” he told reporters. “We will not put up walls.”

While no information has been released bout the attackers’ identity, Ayrault said authorities should fight against the radicalization of young people and against the Islamic State group in particular. Ayrault was at a meeting in Washington about fighting IS when the London attack hit.

The three French teens, part of a large group on a high school trip to London, were among those injured Wednesday.


10:25 a.m.

London’s mayor has paid tribute to a slain police officer who tried to stop a knife-wielding attacker who had entered Parliament’s grounds.

Mayor Sadiq Khan says that 48-year-old police officer Keith Palmer “was doing the job he loved and protecting our city, protecting Parliament, protecting Londoners, unarmed, and he died in the course of his duty. And I pay tribute to him.”

The attacker, who had earlier mowed down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, was shot dead by police after stabbing Palmer. Two other people were killed in the attack.

Khan says that there have been “13 occasions over the last three or four years where attempts to terrorize us, to kill and to maim, have been thwarted.”

Photo: AP Photo/Tim Ireland


10:05 a.m.

Britain’s defense secretary has praised the work of police officers after the attack outside Parliament by a knife-wielding man driving an SUV.

Michael Fallon says that a “very urgent investigation” had been going on around the clock to determine whether “anybody else was involved.”

Earlier, police said they believe the attacker who killed three people, including a police officer, acted alone and was “inspired by international terrorism.”

Police have conducted major raids overnight and detained seven people.


9:55 a.m.

The Spanish Foreign Ministry says that a British national whose mother is Spanish has been identified as one of the people killed in the London attack.

A spokesman says that Spanish consular officials have made contact with Aysha Frade’s relatives in Spain’s northwestern region of Galicia when her identity was confirmed. He was unable to give any further details.

The regional Voz de Galicia newspaper said that Frade was 43 years old and was teaching Spanish in London.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with ministry regulations.

–By Ciaran Giles in Madrid.


9:40 a.m.

The British Parliament has observed a minute of silence to remember those killed in the attack at that heart of the government.

The sitting Thursday is an important act of defiance, showing a commitment to the values at the core of the nation’s government.

A man driving an SUV plowed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge on Wednesday before he fatally stabbed a police officer on Parliament’s grounds. Two other people were killed, and police shot dead the attacker.

Parliament was put into lockdown after the attack.


9:25 a.m.

French prosecutors have opened a terrorism investigation into the attack outside London’s Parliament because three French teens were among those injured.

The Paris prosecutor’s office says that its anti-terrorism section has opened an investigation into attempted murder in relation with a terrorist enterprise. The move means French police would likely travel to London to pursue their investigation.

French authorities, whose country has suffered a string of deadly extremist attacks, have offered to work with British authorities on the investigation.

The injured French were part of a group of high school students from Brittany in western France on a school trip to London.

Three people were killed and many injured when a man mowed down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and stabbed a police officer Wednesday. The attacker was killed by police.


9:20 a.m.

Romanian officials say a woman who plunged into the River Thames when a man plowed into pedestrians with an SUV on London’s Westminster Bridge was a Romanian tourist in London to celebrate her boyfriend’s birthday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ionut Valcu said Thursday that the woman fell into the Thames. It wasn’t clear if she jumped or was thrown into the water by the SUV.

Romanian Ambassador Dan Mihalache told Realitatea TV late Wednesday that the woman sustained serious head injuries and has badly damaged lungs. Her boyfriend suffered a foot fracture. The pair haven’t been named.

Mihalache said: “They were tourists, unfortunately they were unlucky. They had come to celebrate his birthday.” He said the pair planned to wed.


8:40 a.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the attack outside Parliament in London underlined the need for pooling global efforts against terrorism.

In a letter to British Prime Minister Theresa May released by the Kremlin Thursday, Putin said the “forces of terror are acting in an increasingly treacherous and cynical way.”

He emphasized that “it’s necessary to unite efforts of all members of international community to confront the terror threat.”

Putin offered condolences to the families of the victims and wished a quick recovery to those injured in Wednesday’s attack.


7:50 a.m.

British police say they believe the attacker who killed three people including a police officer outside Parliament acted alone and was “inspired by international terrorism.”

Metropolitan Police counterterrorism chief Mark Rowley says that police have raided six addresses and arrested seven people in connection with Wednesday’s attack by a knife-wielding man who also mowed down pedestrians with an SUV. Rowley refused to identify the attacker.

He revised the death toll down to four, including the attacker, a police officer guarding Parliament and two civilians. He said that 29 people required hospitalization and seven of them are in critical condition.

–This item has been corrected to show that death toll, including attacker, has been revised to four.


7:25 a.m.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned the attack outside Britain’s Parliament in London.

The rampage occurred hours after Erdogan warned that the safety of Western citizens could be in peril if European nations persist in what he described as their arrogant conduct.

In a series of tweets posted late Wednesday, Erdogan said Turkey shared “the pain of the United Kingdom.”

Erdogan tweeted: “We stand in solidarity with the U.K., our friend and ally, against terrorism, the greatest threat to global peace and security.”

Earlier Wednesday, Erdogan warned that Europeans wouldn’t be able to walk the streets safely, in remarks he made amid tensions over Dutch and German restrictions on Turkish ministers wanting to hold campaign meetings with Turkish citizens.


7:15 a.m.

British armed police have carried out a raid on a property in the central city of Birmingham, after an attacker killed four people before being fatally shot by police within Parliament’s grounds.

Police refused to say if the raid was linked to the rampage in the heart of Britain’s seat of power. But British media including the Press Association on Thursday quoted an unnamed witness saying that the operation was linked to the attack that also injured around 40 people.

A knife-wielding man drove an SUV into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before crashing the vehicle into the gates of Parliament on Wednesday. He scaled the fences and later fatally stabbed a policeman before being gunned down by officers. He hasn’t been identified. Three pedestrians were among the dead.

Photo: PA via AP


4:10 a.m.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang says the attack outside the British Parliament in London was the first subject of discussion when he met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia on Thursday morning in Canberra.

Li says that “together, we send our condolences to the prime minister of the U.K. and together we condemn terrorism and we stand against all forms of terrorism.”

The Chinese leader says that “there cannot be continued instability in the world,” adding: “We must cherish peace and stability.”


1:35 a.m.

New Zealand’s prime minister is condemning the attack outside Britain’s Parliament that resulted in five deaths, including the assailant.

Prime Minister Bill English told reporters in Rotorua that he has written to British Prime Minister Theresa May to express support for her government and to offer his country’s condolences to the victim’s families.

A knife-wielding man went on the deadly rampage in the heart of Britain’s seat of power Wednesday, plowing a car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament. Other officers fatally shot the attacker.

In addition to the dead, 40 people have injuries.

May has condemned the incident as a “sick and depraved terrorist attack.”


12:15 a.m.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry says five South Koreans in their 50s and 60s were among the 40 people injured in London during the terror attack outside Parliament.

The ministry says the five were hurt when they were caught up in a stampede of people trying to escape the attack.

It says four of the South Koreans suffered broken bones and other injuries and a woman in her late 60s needed an operation to treat a head injury.