At least six people have been killed after attackers drove into pedestrians and stabbed people in central London.
Attackers drove a van at high speed into pedestrians on London Bridge just after 10pm on Saturday before continuing to drive from the bridge to Borough Market.
There, they jumped out of the van and stabbed people, including a British Transport Police officer who has serious but not life-threatening injuries to his face, head and leg.
Within eight minutes, armed police confronted three male attackers, shooting them dead in Borough Market.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said: “Armed officers responded very quickly and bravely, confronting three male suspects who were shot and killed in Borough Market.
“The suspects were wearing what looked like explosive vests but these were later established to be hoaxes.”
He added: “We believe three people were involved but we still have some more inquiries to be 100% confident of that.”
At least 48 victims were taken to five hospitals across London, according to the city’s ambulance service. More were treated at the scene for less serious injuries.
The Premier Bankside hotel was evacuated and Guy’s, St Thomas’ Evelina hospitals went into lockdown “to keep patients, relatives and staff safe”.
Police also responded to an incident in Vauxhall at 11.45pm but later said this was a stabbing unrelated to the two terrorist incidents.
Prime Minister Theresa May has returned to Downing Street for security briefings and will chair a meeting of the Government’s emergency response committee – Cobra – later today.
She said the “terrible incident” was being treated as a “potential act of terrorism”.
Spectator journalist Will Heaven was at London Bridge shortly after the incident and wrote on Twitter that he had seen casualties – one on the pavement and one on the edge of the road.
He told Sky News: “It was about 10.15pm I was in the back of an Uber cab driving over London Bridge…there was somebody down on the pavement with a small crowd around them clearly very concerned.
“It looked like someone had collapsed. We drove a bit further and noticed there was another person on the right hand side of the bridge who was also not on the pavement but in the road itself.
“The penny dropped something quite serious was happening.
“Suddenly the traffic came to standstill. The driver said something bad is happening here.
“We could hear sirens coming and the suddenly ahead of us we noticed another casualty in the road.”
He added that “it did not look like an accident”, adding it was clear that police “thought they were responding to something far more serious than a road traffic accident”.
A witness who gave his name as Jamie was in a restaurant near London Bridge and told the Press Association: “We heard a fight and everyone got up and everyone rushed out of the restaurant and we heard a massive, massive bang.
“Then we hid under the table and people came into the restaurant and knocked a bunch of stuff over, like the till.
“And then we ran into the restaurant into the kitchen, where there was a bunch of other people and a guy had been stabbed and he was cut and he was bleeding quite a lot.”
A female companion said: “We were in the restaurant and we just saw three guys come into the restaurant, stabbed someone in the face and someone in the stomach.
“One of them had a big knife, then he came in and walked around the restaurant, I guess they just kind of stabbed anyone that they saw and knocked things on the ground and then we just hid.”
Police asked people to avoid the areas affected, with London Bridge being closed in both directions. London Bridge, Bank, Vauxhall and Borough stations were closed, although Bank and Vauxhall have since reopened.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “We don’t yet know the full details but this was a deliberate and cowardly attack on innocent Londoners and visitors to our city enjoying their Saturday night. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms.
“There is no justification whatsoever for such barbaric acts.”
The attacks come less than two weeks after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a concert in Manchester.
Ariana Grande, who had been performing that night, tweeted: “Praying for London”.