As a Brit living overseas, when I heard the reports this morning of a supposed terrorist attack in London, my thoughts naturally jumped to those I know living and working in the city. But the news that two of the five who had died are reportedly children visiting from France, quickly reminded me how London is such a cosmopolitan city, that many Australians would be just as concerned as me.
At any given time there are said to be 300,000 Australians living and working in London. That’s about 300,000 families who felt the same dread as me this morning.
Exactly one year after the attacks in Brussels, a driver ploughed through crowds on Westminster Bridge, killing three and injuring 40 others, before crashing into the railings of the Houses of Parliament. The suspect then jumped out of his vehicle and fatally stabbed a police officer, before being shot himself.
With UK Prime Minister Theresa May in lockdown, news will undoubtedly unfold as to the nature and motivation for the attack.
“We’ve declared this as a terrorist incident and the counter-terrorism command are carrying out a full-scale investigation into the events today,” Mark Rowley, Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, told reporters.
“The attack started when a car was driven over Westminster Bridge, hitting and injuring a number of members of the public, also including three police officers.
“A car then crashed near to Parliament and at least one man, armed with a knife continued the attack and tried to enter Parliament.”
Our own Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop has said that the attack bears all the hallmarks of an ISIS strike.
Thankfully, no Australians are reported as being killed or injured in the attack, but that won’t prevent families across the country from being concerned. What is now apparent is that an incident of any kind, be it terror-related or not, touches people in all corners of the world, regardless of where it happens.
For live updates, please visit BBC.com