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    Several injured after vehicle rams people leaving London mosque: witnesses

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, June 19th, 2017

    Police officers attend to the scene after a vehicle collided with pedestrians in the Finsbury Park neighborhood of North London, Britain June 19, 2017. Thomas Van Hulle/Social Media via REUTERS

    Several people were injured in north London early on Monday after a van rammed into worshippers leaving a mosque, witnesses said, in what British police described as a “major incident”.

    The Muslim Council of Britain said the vehicle had hit people as they were leaving Finsbury Park mosque.

    Police said they were called just after 12:20 a.m. (2320 GMT Sunday) to reports of a collision on Seven Sisters Road, which runs through the Finsbury Park area of the city. They said there were a number of casualties and one person had been arrested.

    “From the window, I started hearing a lot of yelling and screeching, a lot of chaos outside. … Everybody was shouting: ‘A van’s hit people, a van’s hit people’,” one woman who lives opposite the scene told the BBC.

    “There was this white van stopped outside Finsbury Park mosque that seemed to have hit people who were coming out after prayers had finished. I didn’t see the attacker himself, although he seems to have been arrested, but I did see the van.”

    A Reuters witness saw at least one person being loaded into an ambulance. A number of police and ambulances were in attendance.

    The incident followed a series of attacks in Britain.

    Eight people were killed and 50 injured on June 3 when three Islamist militants drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed people at nearby restaurants and bars.

    On March 22, a man drove a rented car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London and stabbed a policeman to death before being shot dead. His attack killed five people.

    On May 22, a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a concert by American pop singer Ariana Grande in Manchester in northern England. — By Ritvik Carvalho and Costas Pitas | LONDON

    (Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Nick Tattersall; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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    Formal public inquiry into Grenfell Tower fire to begin on Thursday

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, September 14th, 2017

    FILE PHOTO: A general view shows the Grenfell Tower, which was destroyed in a fatal fire, in London, Britain July 15, 2017. REUTERS/Tolga Akmen

    Hearings begin at a public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire in London that killed more than 80 people in June on Thursday, September 14 in the UK.

    The destruction of the 24-storey social housing block, home to a poor, multi-ethnic community raised public anger over social inequalities.

    Grenfell Tower was part of a deprived housing estate in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, one of the richest areas in the country.

    The inquiry, led by retired judge Martin Moore-Bick, was announced by Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May to show she wanted the truth about the disaster to emerge.

    “But right now, people want answers and it’s absolutely right and that’s why I am today ordering a full public inquiry into this disaster. We need to know what happened, we need to have an explanation of this. We owe that to the families, to the people who have lost loved ones, friends and the homes in which they lived,” said the prime minister.

    It will examine the cause and spread of the fire, the design, construction and refurbishment of the tower, fire regulations relating to high-rise buildings, whether they were complied with at Grenfell Tower, and the actions of the authorities before and after the tragedy. — Reuters


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    ‘Oi, cowards!’: Londoners fought back as killers rampaged

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, June 5th, 2017

    People flee as police attend to an incident near London Bridge in London, Britain, June 4, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay – RTX38VYA

    Londoners fought back with whatever came to hand, including hurling chairs and tables, when three men armed with a van and knives went on the attack in a bustling area of the British capital on Saturday night.

    The attack, in which the assailants killed at least seven people and injured almost 50 before they were shot dead by police, began with a van being driven at high speed into a crowd of pedestrians on London Bridge.

    “It looked like he was aiming for groups of people,” Mark Roberts, a 53-year-old management consultant, told Reuters. He saw at least six people on the ground after the van veered on and off the pavement.

    “It was horrendous.”

    The knife-wielding assailants then took their attack to nearby Borough Market, where survivors described a hellish scene in an area packed with people enjoying a night out in bars and restaurants.

    Gerard Vowles told Sky TV that he was on the street near the Southwark Tavern pub, the scene of multiple stabbings, when he heard someone say: “I’ve been stabbed, I’ve been stabbed.”

    “I thought they were joking,” he said.

    He said he then saw a woman and man being stabbed while the attackers shouted: “This is for Allah”, and recalled how he tried to distract the men.

    “As they left I was going “Oi, oi, cowards!” Vowles said. “I was just trying to get their attention by throwing things at them … I thought if I throw bottles or chairs they can come after me. If I can get them to come to the main road then the police can stop them, they can obviously shoot them.”

    Britain’s transport police chief praised the actions of one of his officers injured in the attack who took on the assailants armed only with a baton.

    “For an officer who only joined us less than two years ago, the bravery he showed was outstanding and makes me extremely proud,” Chief Constable Paul Crowther said in a statement.

    A supervisor at Feng Sushi restaurant inside Borough Market told the Financial Times how he had come face to face with one of the attackers.

    “He was right in front of me with only the glass of the door between us. He came with a big knife, about 20 centimeters, which had blood on the blade. He was saying: ‘This is for Allah’ and tapped it on the window,” 23-year old Alex Nypels said. He said the attacker then went into another nearby restaurant.

    Other witnesses reported seeing a man with a large blade, similar to a kitchen knife, and victims bleeding from stab wounds. They said people were fleeing the area in panic.

    One witness, who only gave the BBC his first name of Ben, said he saw a man dressed in red who was stabbing a man with a blade that appeared to be about 10 inches long.

    “He was being stabbed quite coldly and he slumped to the ground,” he said of the victim. The attacker then walked towards Southwark Tavern where a chair was thrown towards him, shortly before gunshots rang out.

    (Reporting by Reuters staff; Compiled and written by William Schomberg and Elisabeth O’Leary; Editing by Pravin Char and Catherine Evans)

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    UK seaside towns fight back against seagull attacks

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

    FILE PHOTO – Gulls fly over the River Thames near the Houses of Parliament in central London, Britain February 25, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo

    Fed up with holidaymakers being divebombed by greedy seagulls in “horror movie” scenes, one British costal area is fighting back by making it an offence to feed the birds.

    The district council of east Devon which includes the popular resorts of Exmouth and Sidmouth is introducing an 80-pound ($100) fine.

    “Seagulls become accustomed to being fed by people and will attack them if they are not offered food,” said local councillor Iain Chubb.

    “It isn’t very nice when they do come – it’s almost like a horror movie,” Chubb said, comparing it to British director Alfred Hitchcock’s film “The Birds”.

    Tourists and local business owners have long been pressing for stronger measures against feeding the gulls than mere warning signs, he told Reuters.

    But only regular feeders and restaurants that leave their rubbish bins open were at risk of being sanctioned.

    “Quite often the seagulls will sort of swoop over you and if you’re a small child and a thing with a three-foot wingspan comes towards you like a pterodacytl you might just throw your food up in the air,” he added.

    “If you were to feed a seagull a couple of chips, there’s nobody going to pounce out the bushes and say ‘you’ve got a fine.’”

    (Reporting by Emily Roe; editing by Stephen Addison)

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