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Deadly stabbing attack in UK’s Reading is a terrorist incident: police

Members of the media gather outside a police cordon, set up at the Abbey Gateway near Forbury Gardens park in Reading, west of London, on June 21, 2020 following a stabbing incident the previous day. – British police said Sunday they were keeping an open mind about what prompted a lone suspect to stab three people to death in a park filled with families and friends relaxing in the southern English city of Reading.

BEN STANSALL | AFP via Getty Images

A stabbing attack in the southern English city of Reading is being treated as an act of terrorism, British police said Sunday. The attack, which took place Saturday evening in a public park, left three people dead and another three injured. 

“Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, senior national coordinator for the Counter Terrorism Policing (CTP) network, has this morning declared the incident a terrorist incident,” a statement from Thames Valley police said Sunday. The CTP South East will carry out further investigation, the statement added.

“This was an atrocity,”  chief U.K. counter-terrorism officer Neil Basu said. He described unarmed police officers subduing the assailant, and added that the attack was not connected to a demonstration by Black Lives Matter activists held in the same park earlier that day. Reading is about 40 miles west of London. 

A 25-year-old Reading man was arrested for suspected murder Saturday night. He seemed to attack his victims at random, police said.

The police have said they have no intelligence on any further attacks thus far.

“My thoughts are with all of those affected by the appalling incident in Reading and my thanks to the emergency services on the scene,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday.

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