General election to go ahead on Thursday: British PM

Prime Minister Theresa May said it was a potential act of terrorism and the Metropolitan Police force said it had declared the attacks as "terrorist incidents".

As dawn broke over the capital, a large area on the south bank of the River Thames remained cordoned off. Police told people to avoid the area, leaving tourists and revelers struggling to get home. Others hid behind tables and inside bathrooms or attempted to flee.

At 4 a.m. BST (11 p.m. ET) London Metrpolitan Police confirmed that six people had died, and that police had shot three attackers dead.

Assistant Commissioner Rowley stated that the attackers were wearing "what looked like explosive vests but these were later established to be hoaxes".

He said it would be "a bit of a shock" if his neighbour was confirmed as one of the attackers.

The police said the three attackers were shot dead by armed officers within eight minutes of the first call to emergency services.

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation hospital said it was "on lockdown" to keep patients, relatives and staff safe, while a picture on social media showed armed police outside the Andaz Hotel in Liverpool Street, where the walking wounded were reportedly taken.

British authorities are investigating the third major terror attack in the United Kingdom in under three months.

"One of the things that we can do is show that we aren't going to be cowed, is by voting on Thursday and making sure that we understand the importance of our democracy, our civil liberties and our human rights", Khan said.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the attacks were "deliberate and cowardly".

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said he was watching coverage of the attacks "with horror".

Four people are being held by police after an early morning raid on flats in Barking in connection with last night's attack on London Bridge.

A police spokesman declined to comment to Reuters about the report.

"'We are working with our interagency partners and foreign counterparts to gain further insight into reported attacks against civilians on London Bridge and in the surrounding area", the statement read.

"It knocked a person about 20 feet in the air and within my line of sight there must have been about five or six people on the ground".

Ms Jones said police were on the scene within two minutes, quickly followed by ambulances. Sam Dastyari was eating at a restaurant near London Bridge during the attack.

However, Paul Nuttall, the leader of the pro-Brexit, anti-immigration UKIP, said: "I refused to suspend campaigning because this is precisely what the extremists would want us to do". "As I was thinking. which direction should I run, the van swerved across the other side of the bridge from me". After hitting the pedestrians, the vehicle headed towards the Borough market full of bars and restaurants.

Mr Pettit said he had seen a photo which appeared to show "one of the attackers upside down on the floor wearing camouflage pants, which he (the neighbour) was wearing two days ago".

Another man who was nearby told Sky he witnessed emergency vehicles rushing to the scene. "And then people started screaming coming back up", the 31-year-old said. "But they said later that turned out to be an unrelated stabbing".

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