Ben Ainslie: ‘Thoughts & Prayers Go Out To All’

June 4, 2017

“Hard to take the news of more attacks in London. Thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved,” Sir Ben Ainslie said.

The comments from Ainslie — the skipper of British team Land Rover BAR who is in Bermuda taking part in the America’s Cup — follow after last night’s terror attack in London, which left seven people dead, and 36 people still in hospital, with 21 of them in a critical condition. The three attackers were shot dead at the scene, and a total of 12 arrests have been made in connection with the horrific event.

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In the latest update, London Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said, “The investigation is progressing at pace, and officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, the National Counter Terrorism Policing network are working relentlessly with UK intelligence partners to piece together exactly what occurred.

“We have already made significant progress, but of course, there remains much more to do. We are making significant progress in identifying the three attackers, and that there were no other suspects at the scene, when the attack was carried out.

“Work is ongoing to understand more about them, their connections and whether they were assisted or supported by anyone else. As I think you are aware there are searches ongoing in east London, and 12 arrests have been made. There is of course more to do, and we will work relentlessly to establish the facts.

“We have established that the van used during the attack, a white Renault van – was recently hired by one of the attackers.

“Our understanding is growing and as we currently understand it the van entered London Bridge at 21:58 travelling from the North to the South side of the river. The van mounted the pavement, and collided with pedestrians before being abandoned, where the attackers, armed with knives, continued into the Borough Market area, stabbing numerous people.

“The attackers were then confronted by the firearms officers and I can confirm that eight police firearms officers discharged their weapons. Whilst this will be subject to thorough investigation by the IPCC our initial assessment is that in the region of 50 rounds were discharged by 8 officers. The three attackers were shot dead.

“The situation these officers were confronted with was critical – a matter of life and death – three armed men, wearing what appeared to be suicide belts, had already attacked and killed members of the public and had to be stopped immediately.

“Indeed I am not surprised that faced with what they must have feared were three suicide bombers – the firearms officers fired an unprecedented number of rounds to be completely confident they had neutralised those threats. I am humbled by the bravery of an officer who will rush towards a potential suicide bomber thinking only of protecting others.

“As the officers confronted the terrorists – and fired shot – a member of the public also suffered gunshot wounds. Although we do not believe the injuries to critical in nature, they are in hospital receiving medical attention. We will of course keep you updated on that.

“Seven people have been killed, in addition to the three attackers. Work to inform the next of kin of the victims is ongoing – this may take some time, as we believe some of these victims are from abroad.

“36 people remain in hospital, suffering from a range of injuries – some of which are extremely serious. 21 remain in a critical condition.

“You will have heard earlier today about the British Transport Police officer who sustained injuries in the attack. I can confirm that an off duty Met-Officer, based on Southwark borough, was caught up in the attack. Fortunately he has not suffered life threatening injuries, but he remains in hospital in a serious condition.”

The BBC report notes this is the third terror attack in the UK in three months, following the car and knife attack in Westminster in March, in which five people were killed, and the Manchester bombing less than two weeks ago, in which 22 people were killed.

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