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Police name alleged attacker involved in Westminster terrorist attack

Newbury MP among people confined in Parliamentary lock-down

Jane Meredith

Reporter:

Jane Meredith

Contact:

01635 886637

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POLICE have named the alleged attacker involved in the Westminster terrorist incident outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday (Wed) afternoon.

According to the Metropolitan Police, he was Khalid Masood, aged 52, who was born in Kent and lived in the West Midlands.

Police earlier today confirmed four people died in the terrorist attack, including the attacker, who was armed with a knife and shot by police at the scene and died shortly afterwards.

An unarmed policeman who died was named as Pc Keith Palmer. 

A London college worker who died has also been named as Aysha Frade and the fourth person who died has also been named as Kurt W Cochran, a US tourist.

40 people were injured, including other police officers. Seven of the injured remained critically ill in hospital today.

Eight arrests have been made, including in London and Birmingham, after the House of Commons yesterday became the scene of a lock-down, with gun shots heard in Westminster, following the attack.

An increased police presence across the UK was announced by New Scotland Yard yesterday evening.

One minutes' silence was held before the start of today's Parliamentary proceedings.

Newbury MP Richard Benyon was among MPs shut inside the main Parliamentary chamber for several hours. 

Mr Benyon yesterday Tweeted he was among MPs locked inside Parliament following the attack in which the armed man attempted to enter the House of Commons. 

Mr Benyon told NewburyToday that he had walked through the gate just minutes before the attack.

“I came in just a couple of minutes before it happened at that gate. I didn’t hear anything but others said that people jumped through the barriers and over the gate and attacked a policeman. Shots were fired and there’s a man down," he said. 

“I’m sitting here in the chamber. We’re in lock down which usually means they are worried about someone still on the premises or a secondary attack; but everyone is very calm.”

Mr Benyon said that he told his staff to stay in his office and to wait for the all clear to be given.

"There’s about 400 people sat in the chamber and we are well protected but the parliamentary estate is a very big rambling area and there are lots of nooks and crannies. It will take quite some time I imagine,” he said.

According to eye-witness reports on social media, several bodies were reported on Westminster Bridge after people were mowed down by a vehicle, which then crashed into railings outside Parliament.

Parliament was suspended following the gun fire outside.

Commons Leader David Lidington told MPs an alleged assailant was shot by armed police.

Prime Minister Theresa May was rushed away in a car from Parliament by armed police.

Downing Street afterwards confirmed Mrs May was unharmed.

The Metropolitan Police said police were called at approximately 2.40pm, initially to a firearms incident. 

Parties of schoolchildren were visiting Parliament, including some from Hampshire.

Occupants were safely escorted outside the parliamentary building around 4.30pm, however MPs within the House of Commons chamber remained under the lock down at 6.30pm. Other MPs were evacuated to Westminster Abbey. 

At 5.30pm, armed police were seen combing the Palace of Westminster, after it was earlier thought there may have been a second suspected terrorist.

North West Hampshire MP Kit Malthouse‏ also earlier Tweeted:

"House in lockdown following shooting incident outside palace. All NW Hants team found and safe."

London tube stations afterwards closed included Westminster and Westminster Bridge.

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